Sorry, Android. You can’t have more than two notches

The next version of Android could be mere weeks away at this point, although we still don't know what the "P" stands for. This design has risen in popularity since late previous year, helping usher in an era of 18:9 and 19:9 screen aspect ratios. One of them is that there will be no more than two cutouts on a device and another is that there will be no cutout on the left or right long edge of the device. Basically, it's the new Coke of Android screens. They could make such a device but Google would likely reprimand them for it. Google's primary concern is users, ultimately, and in suggesting restrictions on the number of notches, what the company is trying to do is to make life easier for developers and ensure a consistent experience for users.

It was always unlikely, but this rules out the triple-notched Android phone you've all been dreading.

According to the Android Developers Blog, Google will be mandating certain requirements for app compatibility on devices, that all smartphone makers on the Android program will have to adhere to.

We haven't really seen any devices with more than one notch so far. In a developer-oriented blog post published Tuesday, Google revealed a few new guidelines for Android phonemakers to follow in the future.

Among the other notch-related requirements that are spelled out so that devices with notches don't negatively affect the way apps run, the status bar has to extend to at least the height of the notch in portrait mode.

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Here is how Google officially words its constraints.

What this means is that there are four potential screen types envisioned by Google: those without a notch, those with a notch at the top, those with a notch at the bottom, and those with notches at the top and the bottom.

The guidelines have also thrown up a few rules for Android OEMs.

To say the smartphone industry's decision to begin adding "notches" to its flagship smartphones has been a controversial move would be a massive understatement.

So thank you, Google, for drawing the line somewhere.

  • Delia Davidson