Those of a certain age will know flip phones commonly had two screens, one on the inside and one on the outside, and that phones differentiated themselves by the features accessible on the external screen.
Motorola is believed to be planning to bring back the Razr as a folding smartphone, and it appears this will also include a special purpose external screen with very specific capabilities and features.
XDA-Developers report on some leaked code which is believed to be from this Motorola folding phone which reveals the capabilities of the outside screen. This includes:
- When unfolded, the “closed display” can act as a trackpad. Right now, the trackpad functionality is limited to scrolling web pages in Google Chrome and scrolling the apps timeline.
- Up to 6 Quick Settings tiles will be displayed on the “closed display.” It’s unclear to us if Motorola will allow the user to scroll to see more tiles, however.
- When in the camera app, the user can tap on the primary display to capture a photo, or swipe up on the primary display to zoom in. Presumably, this will help the user take selfies when holding the phone with the camera pointed toward the user. A countdown timer can also be shown through the dual screen.
- If the user triggers Google Assistant while the phone is flip closed, then the Assistant animation can be shown if the user chooses to enable it. Otherwise, the user will be prompted to “flip open to unlock” using their password or PIN.
- Motorola is testing having the Moto Display app show a clock, pulsing notifications, and controlling media via the external display.
- The user may be able to have a separate wallpaper showing on the “closed display.”
Having the smaller screen only have limited capabilities would make a lot more sense to users versus running the full Android interface on a tiny screen, such as Samsung is doing with the Galaxy Fold.
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