How to develop a mobile app for foldable smartphones?

The year 2019 was a watershed moment in the history of foldable cellphones.

The news that Samsung was about to introduce its unique foldable product had been circulating for several years. However, with Google confirming its collaboration with Samsung on this breakthrough in 2019, the whispers became a reality, and several device manufacturers quickly began doing their study to enter the area. The Current State of Foldable Smartphones Here’s a diagram depicting the present state of foldable smartphones

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The figures presented in the preceding statistics show that once foldable phones hit the market, they will not be an instant success. Therefore, it would take some time for them to establish a presence in the smartphone market. However, like with every technological disruption, while the wave may be sluggish at first, it will quickly become tremendous. As a result, both device manufacturers and Android app development companies would need to plan ahead of time.

What Impact Would Foldable Phones Have on the App Development Process?

While it may appear on the surface that it is merely about having flexible UX in mobile apps, the influence is far-reaching.

Foldable phones provide extra space for developers to create immersive and detailed experiences for all types of multi-window devices. For example, video streaming apps can use the expanded screen size to display videos in a wider orientation or to add new controls or features to the app.

Calendar apps will be able to open a full month rather than just a week. Banking apps will open numerous accounts in the multi-window app screen instead of the primary one. Business apps will be able to incorporate more features, such as reading emails while reading a document, and so on.

Creators of content will be able to switch between apps. Let’s look at how foldable cellphones can affect the application development process.

A. Quality Takes Priority Over Everything

Foldable phones will arrive in various orientations and aspect ratios, but the quality requirements will remain consistent. Users will expect you to maintain the same faultless and error-free quality and app flow they are accustomed to. The importance of producing high-quality digital products grows as you enter the app development for foldable phones area.

B. More Test Cases

With many foldable phones set to enter the smartphone market shortly, the app development team will have to work around many test cases – all while dealing with the challenges that come with multi-window app settings.

C. Reactions Choose a Crucial Position

A prolonged feedback collection procedure is one of the side effects of developing apps for foldable phones. Because you will be bringing a traditional application to a new location, you will receive a lot of feedback, particularly on the transition front. Considering this, you should make room in your Agile scrum process for dealing with changes.

D. Extensive App Development Time and Cost

Another significant impact on the mobile app development economy will be extended development time and cost estimates.

Optimizing apps for foldable and ensuring that they perform flawlessly in all modes would necessitate a significant amount of design, development, and testing effort, which will result in a price increase.

How Do You Create Apps for Foldable Phones?

Let us divide the process of generating apps for multiple screens into three steps, as we do with every other mobile app development process.

Creating designs for foldable phones

When starting an app design for foldable, there are four major factors to consider.

 

A. Two States – Every foldable smartphone has two states: unfurled and folded screens, also known as the main display and cover display.

Unfolded state: this is when a phone changes into a tablet, allowing companies to enhance the user experience. This additional area can provide more context and add auxiliary actions or experiences to the apps.

Folded state: The phone seems to be a standard smartphone that can be operated with one hand in this foldable app design state.

B. Single-Handed or Two-Handed App Design

States alter the entire experience, even how the gadget is held. For example, people currently use one hand to operate smartphones, but they will need to use both hands in the unfolded condition. This alters the design dynamics so that the critical UI and UX elements must be kept within the thumb and other fingers’ range.

Preparations for foldable phones on a technical level:

The developers’ job, like the designers’, will be divided into four stages of app development for foldable phones procedures. While Google will be expanding support for foldable devices with Android 11, let us take a closer look at all of them for the time being.

A. App/Screen Continuity

As discussed in the previous section, app screen continuity means that when an app runs on a foldable smartphone, it should instantly and flawlessly shift from one screen state to another. The app must always resume in the same state and location.

You’ll need to create a resizable app using dynamic resizing. Setting resizable Activity=true accomplishes this. It ensures that your programme is as compatible with whatever contexts and conditions it may encounter. If you skip this step, the system may resize your app without guaranteeing the correct size, configuration, and aspect ratio. As shown below.

B. New Screen Ratios Android 10 and later would support a variety of aspect ratios. The foldable form factors would range from a very high long and thin screen to a 1:1 ratio. You must test the apps for as many screen ratios as possible to be compatible with the devices.

C. Multiple-Window

Google has made it common to run two apps side by side for quite some time. The foldable technology introduces the ability to run three or more apps simultaneously. Furthermore, technology allows people to share content.

In the case of Android 9, only the application in focus was in the resumed state, while all other visible activities were halted. However, it changed in the case of Android 10. Even while using the multi-window option, the activities remained resumed. This is referred to as a multi-resume.

<meta-data android:name=“android.allow_multiple_resumed_activities” android:value=“true” />

D. Multiple-Display

Multi-screen Android display is supported, starting with the tenth OS version and up. If an app runs on a device with several displays, users can effortlessly switch between them. These multi-resume possibilities also apply to multi-screen circumstances. When an app is launched, or another activity is created, it can indicate which display should be displayed. The behaviour is determined by the activity launch mode, defined in the manifest file, and the intent flags and choices are selected by those who launch the activity. When handled, an activity must check the current Create and Configuration Changed display. Android app developers must update the layouts and resources when the display changes.

In addition, a developer must take care of the following items –

Activity context vs. app context

Cutouts for display

Utilization of a secondary screen

App Development for Foldable Devices:

When testing the app, the Android QA team must ensure that it responds to the following events: multi-window and multi-resume functionality, resizing & new screen ratios, and configuration changes. We are known in the industry for being that app development firm that provides disruptive services and for our work with technologies that have yet to become the mainstream in the mobile arena.

We are at the forefront of technical innovation, whether it is the inclusion of Blockchain in apps. Since the early 2019s, when discussion of foldable phones first surfaced, our in-house Android app developers have been gathering knowledge about Samsung’s Emulator APK and AOSP Foldable Emulator Android Studio 3.5 to determine what we would need to achieve if foldable smartphones were popular. Wama Technology has tested various test cases when writing this article to understand how the application appears in the folded and unfolded states. The lab has put us on the cutting edge of app development for foldable phones. We are prepared to turn your standard app into a mobile app.

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