Creating for foldable units: What you’ll want to know

Samsung Galaxy Fold tablet mode on table

The age of the foldable system is upon us! Or at the least it will likely be very quickly, pending a slight delay.

Both approach, plenty of trade analysts are of the opinion that folding smartphones are the long run. Which means the apps of the long run additionally should be foldable. Shoppers are clamouring on the bit to get a style of this new route. However as for us builders? It’s only one extra type issue to focus on — the Android panorama is turning into much more fragmented! Yay!

Bigger display sizes ought to equate to higher person engagement

One factor that struck me as uncommon watching hands-on movies of the Galaxy Fold, was the truth that most apps appeared to assist it already. Reviewers raved about “app continuity,” and the way most apps would soar from the entrance show to the massive central show seamlessly.

Samsung Galaxy Fold behind fire

He’s so sizzling proper now!

Apps that don’t assist the characteristic will open up in the course of the show with out scaling and can should be relaunched. That is fairly janky impact, and seeing as most builders are enjoying ball, we actually need to be on the best facet of historical past right here.

Getting began – emulating foldable units

The very first thing you’ll want to do is obtain your self a duplicate of Android Studio three.5 Canary 13 and create a brand new digital system with Android Q Beta and a folding type issue. It will allow you to check your app to see the way it handles being folded in half. After getting Android Studio, you may get every part you want by way of the AVD Supervisor as regular.

Android Q Foldables App Development 

Be warned that the foldable emulator is positively a beta product, and also you’ll definitely run into a couple of bugs. I’ve been making an attempt to load it as I write this text and it’s at the moment crashing for the third time. That mentioned, as soon as it’s up and working, it’s a helpful strategy to rapidly check every part is scaling because it ought to.

There are different choices too. You possibly can head over to Samsung’s Distant Check Lab and attempt to remotely run a Galaxy Fold. Which means controlling an precise system someplace. I fairly take pleasure in the truth that it requests you don’t use it to put in and play Fortnite! This isn’t good — it’s fairly sluggish — but it surely’s additionally fascinating for anybody eager to have a go together with a Fold (like yours actually).

Remote Lab Samsung Galaxy Fold

Lastly, you even have the choice to strive an emulator supplied immediately from Samsung. What’s cool about this one is that it is available in APK format and subsequently truly runs on your Android system. You may get the APK and discover directions for utilizing it right here.

To be sincere although, you’ll be able to check plenty of what we’re about to speak about utilizing good-old multi window. To strive multi-resume proper now (defined under in a second), do this trick I wrote about some time again utilizing Samsung MultiStar.

Supporting app continuity

As soon as that’s up and working, you’re prepared to start out making the important modifications. To assist display continuity, you’ll want to be sure that your app helps runtime configuration change. That is one thing builders needs to be contemplating anyway, because it additionally pertains to utilizing multi-window mode.

(I’ve been enjoying round with my previous Axon M — which continues to be on Android 7.1 — and I’m shocked at what number of apps already adapt seamlessly once you open the factor up.)

The way in which we do that is by way of onSaveInstanceState() and chronic storage. In different phrases, be sure you are saving your structure and any essential information throughout onPause() after which retrieving as mandatory. You may also use ViewModel in an effort to retain information throughout configuration modifications.

Customers desire a structure that takes full benefit of the large display real-estate that they’re paying ~$2,000 to take pleasure in.

In fact, the structure of your app itself additionally must be able to scaling seamlessly. That is partly the results of good UI design, and partly a matter of utilizing ConstraintLayout in order that your views are all positioned relative to the sides of the show.  Keep away from onerous coding your structure sizes, and as a substitute depend on “wrap_content,” and “match_parent.”

However keep away from the temptation to easily stretch every part to suit. In any other case, what’s the purpose?

Huawei Mate X Folded Display with Dgit and Android Authority Split

Customers actually worth a structure that takes full benefit of the large display real-estate that they’re paying ~$2,000 to take pleasure in. Take into consideration the way in which Gmail adapts to indicate two columns on pill — You possibly can obtain the identical factor through the use of alternate structure sources.

It’s a bit of additional work in your half, however it could possibly considerably enhance the expertise for the tip person. If you happen to enhance the expertise, customers usually tend to open your app extra typically — that means you’ll earn extra money!


Talking of the app life-cycle, it’s additionally value noting the modifications Google has made to onResume(). Particularly, multiple app will now have the ability to be in a resumed state, that means that you simply gained’t want to fret fairly a lot about dealing with your app being paused-but-visible. Which means lots of Google’s suggestions on this division are not related, but it surely’s nonetheless value giving the Multi-Window Help tips a learn if you happen to haven’t already.

Axon M foldable phone

Who remembers this little man?

To assist this although, you’ll want so as to add the tag: android.allow_multiple_resumed_activities to your manifest. Then you definately’ll must spend a while desirous about how this would possibly change the way in which that customers work together together with your apps. Deciding when to pause media or when to replace feeds would be the distinction between a seamless or flawed expertise.

You’ll additionally want to make use of the resizeableActivity attribute: android:resizeableActivity, which has undergone some modifications in Android Q.

Closing feedback

As you’ll be able to see then, there’s nothing too new right here — and that’s possible why so many apps already supported app continuity by default. This has been dealt with neatly by Google, that means that for as soon as there isn’t an excessive amount of work for us to do. Slightly, it’s a matter of enjoying catch-up to make sure an app is already effectively optimized for the ever-expanding vary of type components that may run it, testing it with the related emulators and instruments, and being ever-smarter about UI design.

Samsung Galaxy Fold Open Back

The excellent news is that bigger display sizes ought to equate to higher person engagement. Get your UX proper, and this might translate to much more display time to your initiatives!

You should definitely examine again right here infrequently. We’ll be including extra directions and ideas as we be taught extra.

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