Why Google creates Android phone notches now

Still facing a nick heat sweeping phone designs these days? Give it up. Google has.

The Android P beta, a build meant for app developers that anyone is giveaway to download and use, supports not one, though three opposite nick designs.

There’s a executive Cycloptic nick we find in phones like a iPhone X, Huawei P20, LG G7 and Essential Phone, twin notches on a tip and bottom, and, horrifyingly, a nick pattern for a right corner.

Relax, this doesn’t indispensably mean every phone will have a notched look. It means that Google is scheming to assistance apps work seamlessly on phones that do come with those designs.

“The handling system’s not pro or opposite notches,” pronounced Dave Burke, VP of Android engineering, in an talk with CNET during final week’s Google I/O conference. “It’s only existence that notches are appearing on hardware and that apps don’t mangle and that phone designers can make use of a space well.”

As to because a hardware attention is adding notches to phones, well, that’s easy. Phonemakers wish to widen a shade from corner to edge, so they can give we some-more shade to play with while gripping handset distance in check. “That’s a holy grail,” Burke said.

Chasing a edge-to-edge shade dream is frequency a fool’s errand, though phonemakers do run pound into a problem of where to put electronics. That selfie camera has to go somewhere on a front, and if it isn’t on a phone face, you’re looking during automatic tools like this weird and cryptic (but fun!) judgment camera that mechanically pops adult like a cut of toast.


“You have to understanding with useful realities,” Burke said.

But Google’s Android group doesn’t consider notches are going to dissapoint people for too long. Burke says over a thousand Google employees tested early Android P program internally on their Pixel and Pixel 2 phones. Over time, Googlers reported that they grew so used to a cutout, they stopped seeing it even existed.

“Our smarts are flattering cosmetic and get used to notches,” Burke said. “They don’t even see them after a while.”

Note: If we are meddlesome in a Android P beta software, you’ll need the right phone. Be wakeful too that it’s unprepared software, so we wouldn’t do this on your primary device.


Look, no notch! This Vivo Apex judgment phone’s selfie cam pops adult when we wish to take a photo.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Read: The 5 best things from Google I/O this year

Read: Swiping in Android P beta isn’t terrible

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