When Apple’s iPhone X was officially announced, we received confirmation that it would indeed have that now infamous notch design at the top of the screen. This is, of course, where the Face ID magic lives on an iPhone X, but we have also seen similar designs from other hardware manufacturers recently as well, all with varying degrees of success.
Those devices all run Android, with hardware makers having to work the notch into their software ad-hoc. Now, according to a new report by Bloomberg, Google is getting ready to bring native notch support to Android 9.0 P later this year.
According to the report, Google is planning to make it possible for Android phone makers to usher in a “new generation” of devices that will borrow heavily from the iPhone X’s notch design. It is likely that this will be put in place to make it easier for manufacturers to create Android phones that can mimic, to some extent, the sensor array that makes Face ID possible on the iPhone X. While other phones already have facial recognition, the number of sensors used by Apple’s iPhone X in order to make Face ID work so well requires more space than existing implementations, hence the need for a notch.
Overall, however, it is believed that Google’s aim with Android P – expected to be called Pistachio Ice Cream – is to make Android more attractive to iPhone switchers.
While Android dominates the middle and low-end of the global smartphone market, Apple controls much of the high-end with users who spend more on apps and other services. Embracing the notch may help change that. The design will mean more new Android phones with cutouts at the top of their screens to fit cameras and other sensors. That will likely support new features, helping Android device makers keep up with similar Apple technology.
Google’s plans to overhaul Android in 2018 is in contrast to Apple’s reported plans to take the year to iron out bugs, improve performance and generally make iOS a more solid experience for users of iPhones and iPads.
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