The Samsung Galaxy Fold could arguably be credited with kickstarting a new smartphone form-factor — the foldable. Turns out, however, that the Galaxy Fold doesn’t just have major implications for the future of smartphone hardware — it also had a major impact on Android, the operating system found on the majority of smartphones.
According to Samsung, work on building a version of Android that would support foldable devices started in April 2018, and Samsung and Google worked alongside each other in Korea, the U.S., and China. The result of that work? The native foldable support that we see in Android 10.
“Together with ecosystem partners like Samsung, we have the opportunity to deliver an entirely new user experience that could transform the way we use our smartphones. We enjoyed working closely with the Samsung team and the Android developer community to ensure the users of the Galaxy Fold have the best experiences with their favorite apps and services,” Sagar Kamdar, director of product management for Android at Google, said in a blog post.
Not only does Android now support foldable devices because of the work the two companies did together, but there are also a number of apps that support foldable devices too — despite the fact that there aren’t all that many foldable phones out there just yet. These apps include the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, VSCO, and more.
Of course, the way foldable phones work will likely change over the next few years. Foldable devices, in general, are still in their infancy, and as more consumers get their hands on foldable phones and more manufacturers build foldable phones of their own, software companies will continue to build new ways to take advantage of those larger and flexible displays.
The particular changes that Google made to Android 10 include the fact that it supports window resizing, an updated Android Emulator to support multiple display types, and more. It all works behind the scenes — but it’s aimed at ensuring that apps work seamlessly between different displays, and resize fluidly when the display size changes while an app is open.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is set to finally ship to customers later this month, and we’re expecting a slew of other foldable devices to make their way to the public over the next year or so.
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