From Flip to Qwerty phones to smartphones, Mobile Industry has come a long way from its inception in 1973. Foldable smartphones are the hottest trends in the mobile market. Apart from being fancy looking, they provide a more immersive experience and a host of other advantages over the traditional smartphones. If the Gartner report is to be trusted, then nearly 5% of smartphones will be foldable by 2023.
Adapting App Development for Foldable Smartphone
Statista predicts that global shipment of foldable smartphones will be 50 million from 2019 to 2022. There is a serious challenge for the developers to make the apps resizable to both foldable and non-foldable screens. Also, there can either be two screens that merge on unfolding or a single screen itself which folds. In this article, we are addressing the challenges that are encountered while making mobile apps for the foldable screens.
1. Screen Continuity compatibility in app development for foldable smartphone
One of the major challenges with foldable screens is that apps need to pause or continue during the transition from folded to non-folded screen. Apps should not hang or lag while adapting to different screen sizes. During the transition from the fold to unfold screen, the app receives the configuration change. Devs therefore, need to ensure that the app properly supports the runtime configuration change. A challenge here for the designer is to ensure a proper UI that will not get messy with different size screens and orientation.
2. Screen Ratio Adjustment
Some manufacturers may have shorter height but bulkier screens while others prefer a longer and thinner screen. Android 10 (API level 29) and higher actually support a larger and wider range of aspect ratios. Therefore, testing on different screen sizes is essential for maximum compatibility. Apps need to be able to resize on their own with respect to the screen size. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using the code “resizeableActivity=true”. Doing this ensures that
3. Multi-apps resume compatibility for foldable smartphone
The apps should be able to resume upon the folding and unfolding of the screen. This feature was not supported on the older versions of Android i.e. Android Pie which made the apps paused to terminate the resources or stopped performing their functions. Google relied on the manufacturers in order to enable this functionality. Android 10 allows this feature. With it, all activities and apps will remain in the resumed state when the device is in the multiple-window mode.
4. Multi-Window mode
Due to larger screen size in the unfolded state, users will expect simultaneous running of three apps or even more, which would allow them to multi-task such as surfing the Youtube playlist while also checking their emails on the same screen. According to Google, the technology has improved to a point where three or more apps can run on the screen at the same time and would also allow for content sharing between them.
5. Testing on different foldable devices
It may seem a laborious task however, testing on different foldable mobiles is important with different resolutions, multiple orientations. Even with 4 orientations, users will expect the same flawless working of the app. A customized agile approach will be needed in order to do frequent testing of each module with different resolutions and orientations.
Read more: 10 React Native Challenges and Common Mistakes
Bugs are inevitable since the mobile app development for foldable devices is in nascent stages only. There is also the limitation of the hardware that needs to be considered for running two separate displays simultaneously even for different applications. However, with robust testing, you can ensure that apps will run properly on both types of screens. At Amplework, you can rely on our ability to create glitch-free mobile app development for market release with trending functionalities for both foldable and non-foldable screens.