Android P feature spotlight: Google introduces support for display cutouts and notches [sigh]
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If the design of the iPhone X is notcha cup of tea (sorry), a slew of incoming copy-cat designs from Android OEMs is sure to get your blood boiling. Google's opinion on this is unknown, but it knows Android devices with notches are on their way and appreciates the need to accommodate such hardware designs with its next OS version.
Android P will support screen cutouts natively, with APIs to manage how content is displayed on panels with various bites taken out of them. The system will manage status bar height so that it matches any notch, allowing app content to be separated out easily. Developers can set immersive content to incorporate the cutout (see image below) by using the APIs to check the shape and request full-screen.
Notches can be simulated for any device using a newly added Developer Option, so it will be easy for devs to test support in their apps. Calling getDisplayCutout() will check if a device has a cutout, and the location/shape can be found with DisplayCutout. Content can be positioned relative to a notch with a new window layout attribute, layoutInDisplayCutoutMode.
Since we'll be seeing numerous Android devices in the coming months launching with a notch of some kind, it makes sense for Google to include support in Android P. Google's oversight will hopefully give users a better experience if their phone has a display with a notch. I do hope this isn't a sign of things to come, however. Many of us would rather not see sections cut out of the display — I'm happy to stick with a top bezel — so let's hope this isn't a precursor for a Pixel 3 with a notch.