Android P will embrace the iPhone X's notch, says report

Could a future Android have a cut-out on top of the screen, too?

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
Claire Reilly/CNET

Google's next version of Android may be designed for phones that look a lot more like the iPhone X than they do like the Pixel 2 XL.

Android P -- the rumored follow-up to Google's Android Oreo OS -- is said to be optimized for phones with new design types, Bloomberg reported Monday. This includes phones with notches  like the iPhone X, multiple screens like the ZTE Axon M and screens that fold like the rumored foldable Samsung Galaxy phone.

Other reported upgrades coming to Android P include longer battery life savings and an even larger role for Google's AI Assistant.

Making Android work with phones that look like the iPhone X is one way to woo iPhone users into switching to Android, according to the report's sources. While Android reportedly dominates the midrange and low-end smartphone market, Apple's iOS controls a large portion of the high-end market. On the flipside, supporting new designs can help satisfied buyers of Android phones remain loyal to the platform.

When the iPhone X was first unveiled, it was mocked for its front-facing camera cutout. However, the Android-based Essential Phone's has one, too, and several other phone makers have mimicked the notch. And as more Android phones are rumored to come with iPhone X-style notches, Google may be working to support them.

This doesn't mean that all phones running Android P will have notches, or multiple screens or displays that fold, but allowing Android to work seamlessly with new designs does make it easier for those that will. 

There's also the possibility that Google is building this support into Android P because its next batch of Pixel phones have a notch design, but we won't know until much later in the year. Google's Pixel phones are usually the first to get the new Android OS, and as a result showcase the latest tricks and features.

Google officially reveals the latest version of Android at its I/O developer's conference from May 8 through May 10, so expect to hear more about the OS then. 

Google declined to comment on this story.

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