Google to natively support Foldable Android devices

Samsung is expected to unveil their new foldable handset today. If they do they will be the second of what is set to become an avalanche of Android handsets with extendable screens.

Google is trying to get ahead of this wave by helping OEMs support the form factor.

Speaking at the Android Developer Summit, VP of engineering Dave Burke said that Google is “enhancing Android to take advantage of this new form factor with as little work as necessary.”

Director of product management Sagar Kamdar says that Google is “working closely with our OEM partners to ensure we have a common API surface for developers.”

He said Google is “already working closely with Samsung on a new device they plan to launch early next year.”

At present this is mainly by guiding developers into using existing APIs for resizable displays, such as when found in a windowed environment.

That feature is the  “screen continuity” API with Kamdar  saying “This new form factor is therefore simply adding new use cases to this existing pattern.”

In addition, Kamdar says that Google is “exploring many different ways to ensure a seamless foldables experience for users. More to come” but had nothing further to announce today.

Google hopes to avoid fragmentation in this new category and prevent each company from coming up with their own implementation, but it seems the company does not have anything interesting to bring to the table yet which would make foldables as compelling as Microsoft’s 2009 Courier videos.  Here’s hoping this will change, as the experience would certainly need to be differentiated and premium to match the premium prices of these coming devices.

Via The Verge