Mishaal Rahman is currently testing the OnePlus Open, a high-end foldable smartphone running Android 14. He has discovered that the OS now offers the right API for apps to take advantage of all the screens available on foldable smartphones. Since the first foldables arrived on the market, no application has yet been able to boast of exploiting all the slabs made available to them at the same time.
In addition to a large internal display surface, the folding screen, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Motorola Razr 40 and Huawei Mate X3 also feature a smaller, external screen. Rarely are these two surfaces used simultaneously by an application. To date, according to Rahman, only the Pixel Fold’s Interpreter mode displays useful information on either side of the device. The journalist reveals, however, that a new API available in Android 14 now enables developers to take advantage of absolutely any type of smartphone, regardless of the number of screens or its shape.
Android 14 finally makes full use of all foldable smartphone screens
A quick look at the Android 14 website reveals that “the Jetpack WindowManager library enables developers to support new device form factors and multi-window environments. […] The initial release provides access to elements such as the hinge angle sensor and the rear screen. It is aimed at foldable devices, but future versions will extend to other display types with different characteristics”.
Android 14 finally lets apps show content on both screens on a foldable! Thanks to new Jetpack WindowManager APIs and a new WindowManager Extension, apps can now use both the inner & outer display on a foldable.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) November 8, 2023
Let’s face it, in terms of everyday use, it’s hard to argue that foldable smartphones are indispensable. True, they have a larger display surface and offer greater viewing comfort, but so far, on a functional level, they have yet to offer a revolutionary experience to their owners. With the release of the WindowManager API, developers now have no excuse for failing to exploit the full potential of foldable smartphones.