Foldables at Google I/O

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Cesar

Hello Android developers!

You’ve probably seen some of the awesome announcements made this week at Google I/O, a virtual event that brought the Google developer community together. This post covers some of our favorites, from sessions like What’s new in foldables, tablets, and large screens, and Prepare your app for large screens. Enhancing apps for dual-screens and Microsoft Surface Duo falls naturally into a broader strategy to support larger screens, and we’re excited to see foldable device enhancements going mainstream.

Window Manager

Jetpack Window Manager is a common API for all foldables that provides easy access to information about the location and state of hinges or folds on a variety of devices, including Surface Duo.

We have provided instructions to get started with Window Manager; you can also check out the Android Reference for more details, release information for API version history, and Codelabs for a step-by-step walkthrough using Window Manager.

Enhanced controls

Google announced these widgets can now be fold-aware:

  • SlidingPaneLayout – covered in last week’s blog, the SlidingPaneLayout has been updated to adapt for fold state and dual-screen devices.
  • NavigationRail – a new widget similar to BottomNavigation for positioning on the side of the screen to work better on foldable and larger screens.
  • ConstraintLayout – now includes the ability to use a fold by setting a ReactiveGuide to the fold position (in code) to build adaptive layouts for dual-screen devices.

Microsoft also has a set of controls available that adapt to dual-screen and foldable devices, including layouts, a recyclerview helper, tabs, and navigation. Microsoft’s controls are also based on Window Manager and can be used to enhance apps for other foldable devices beyond the Surface Duo.

Design responsively

Google’s UI guidance for large screens has been updated to cover foldables, as well as Material Design, and both can be read in conjunction with the Surface Duo Design Kit. Following the design guidance and responsive grids from Google will work equally well for your dual-screen user experiences.

There’s more information on the latest updates to the Surface Duo design kit and docs coverage on our blog.

Flutter

Flutter 2.2 was announced with many new features and updates.

The Material Design team has also made the NavigationRail widget available for Flutter, which can be added to apps for Surface Duo.

The Surface Duo Developer Experience team continues to work on our dual-screen Flutter contributions, and welcomes your feedback.

Resources and feedback

Join us at 11am PST tomorrow (Friday, May 21st) on twitch.tv/surfaceduodev to discuss all these announcements from Google I/O. You can also check out past streams on YouTube.

Visit the Surface Duo developer documentation and past blog posts for other ideas on enhancing your apps for dual-screen devices.

If you have any questions, or would like to tell us about your apps, use the feedback forum, message us on Twitter @surfaceduodev.

3 comments

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      Tobias Scholze

      As far as I know yes. It will fixing a lot of issues that are related to the old Android 10 which is currently running ion the Duo.

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        JAMES CYCHOWSKI

        Android 11 hasn’t arrived on the Duo yet, so I’m not holding my breath that android 12 will arrive, at least for another Year, by then hopefully generation three of the Surface Duo, will by released, and the original Duo will be left In the dust, I say all this as a Duo owner.