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Google sets some ground rules for notch displays

Google lays down the law on notches so OEMs can’t screw them up

For example, Android P phones can only have one cutout on each edge of the device. Google says it worked with device manufacturer partners to establish a set of practices for notch implementation so that the hardware design won't conflict with software rules built for app devs.

Google said the move is to ensure consistency and app compatibility with devices that do have cutouts.

"In portrait orientation with no special flags set, the status bar must extend to at least the height of the cutout".

We're sure most people would agree that multiple notches sounds terrible, so we're quietly glad that Google is limiting the number that Android P will officially support. Google does not want notches placed on the long edges of an Android phone.

The point of creating the rules is to ensure app developers can create a consistent experience across variations on devices with one or two cutouts on Android P and devices with 18:9 and larger aspect ratios. Manufacturers have found workarounds, including forcing many apps to display entirely under the notch, leaving that zone only for system information and notification icons.

Still, it's good to know that Google will not allow this notch situation to get out of hand, even though many users still can't stand just a single notch on their smartphones. This second rule is to ensure no app content is displayed in the cutout area. While we have seen the number of notched Android phones growing increasingly this year, consumers are still divided on the notch. Developers can simulate these cutouts in their apps using the Android P SDK. Smartphone makers could go that way in the future, leading to smartphones that are filled with entirely unnecessary notches.

In the lead-up to the launch of its Pixel 3 smartphones (which allegedly include a notch-sporting Pixel 3 XL), Google has posted a Developers Blog entry detailing its rules for display cutouts, and how they'll be supported on its upcoming Android P operating system.

Since Apple released the notch, there has been much derision cast toward the feature.