How do flexible displays work in phones

Mammoth task: Android adaptation to flexible displays

Android apps are still in the adaptation phase for flexible displays such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold
Image: Samsung, Screenshot: teltarif.deGoogle will adapt its Android mobile operating system more closely to use in the new fold-out smartphones. The device category brings new ways in which users can interact with the devices, said Android boss Hiroshi Lockheimer of the dpa at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The functions for this would first be developed together with the manufacturers and then integrated into the operating system.

Samsung, for example, worked with Google on its Galaxy Fold smartphone to ensure that apps run synchronously on the smaller smartphone screen on the outside and the tablet display, which can be unfolded like a book. Huawei also cooperated with Google in the development of its folding phone Mate X, in which the tablet display remains on the outside in contrast to Galaxy Fold.

Multi-year learning process

Android apps are still in the adaptation phase for flexible displays such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold
Image: Samsung, screenshot: "With these first devices we will learn a lot about how people use them" - and what solutions app developers will find for them, Lockheimer said. It expects a learning process lasting several years, as before, for example, with the introduction of touchscreens. As long as the device category of folding smartphones is so new, device manufacturers will still have to work directly with Google to find solutions for their specific phones.

This year, Google is faced with the challenge of finding a dessert that starts with the letter "Q" for the name of the next Android version. The group traditionally gave the further developments names of desserts in alphabetical order. "I remember how we said in the beginning - in the cupcake and donut era - 'Oh, when it comes to Q or Z, it won't be that easy. But at that time it still seemed so many years away, "said Lockheimer. It has not yet been decided how the Android versions will be named when the alphabet is through.

Lockheimer reiterated that Google has no plans to merge its two operating systems, Android and Chrome. "We are fortunate to have two successful operating systems," he said. "But these technologies are different - and the reason for this is that the deployment scenarios are different."

With the greater integration of Google's voice assistant, smartphone use has increased in regions where illiteracy is widespread. "Before that, people might have been afraid to get a smartphone because they couldn't read or write."

In Europe it is still too early to see the business consequences of the changes to the Android license model following the competition procedure of the EU Commission, said Lockheimer. Google had introduced paid Android licenses for devices sold in Europe, while the operating system remains free for devices sold elsewhere in the world.

The Galaxy S10 + was not foldable, but no less interesting and was presented by Samsung in the same cycle. We have already been able to test the device. You can read details in a detailed test report.