2019 brought some new and good news for mobile fanatics, as Samsung revealed the launch of its foldable phones. Later, when the news of Google partnering Samsung reached the ears of the users, the expectations doubled. This led to other brands also caching in on the opportunity by launching foldable mobile phones.
Along came the opportunity of developing apps that were friendly with the device and could be used easily on it. Application development for foldable smartphones can be different from the regular phones.
Impact on Application Development Process
It might look like a regular app on the foldable phone, but there is a lot more that goes into creating an app for these phones. There is room for experiments and learning in these phones. Take a look at how the applications are going to get enhanced in the foldable phones.
- Videos: Extra features can be added to the app, as the phones have considerable larger screens, making the videos look large and clear. The orientation is big as compared to other smartphones.
- Calendar: A calendar can display days of the entire month, rather than showing days of just one week.
- Creating content: Content writers will be able to work more efficiently as they can juggle between multiple apps all at once.
- Banking: The apps for banking are made easy to use as multiple windows can be open on a single screen and you don’t have to go back and forth on the same phone.
- Business: Using business applications will also be easy as a lot more features can be added to each app for easy access and better quality.
Next, take a look at how the app development process is impacted by the foldable phones
1- Quality product:
A foldable phone comes with better orientation and larger screen, which automatically increases the expectations of the users. The quality of an app should supersede any other requirement as the users would want a glitch free experience, with a quality like no other.
Allowing multiple windows to open simultaneously on the screen, the apps will have to go through a number of testing phases, only to bring out the best in the app.
Making high quality and fast running apps for foldable phones comes with greater expectations and feedbacks. Be open to criticism and take it positively. Since there is a lot that users are going to say after using it for the initial months. Therefore, be all ears to any sort of feedback and take it positively. This feedback will help you nurture the app properly and make changes that are necessary.
4- Time and Cost:
Nothing in the world comes for free. And with the advancement of technology, the cost of everything is also shooting up like anything. Developing an app is time consuming, and with foldable phones coming into being, it is going to take more time. You must also be ready to incur more cost as compared to the regular smartphones.
The entire process from thinking of an idea of an app, to building a design, developing, and testing, it is going to take more time and effort.
How to Develop Apps for Foldable Phones?
Developing apps for regular smartphones is quite different from making for the new foldable phones. Since the screen size and optimisation is different from other phones, the effort and money that goes in developing these apps is higher than the regular ones.
Listed below are the primary things that should be kept in mind while making an app:
1. Two states:
Every foldable mobile, irrespective of the company and the brand has two screens – a folded and an unfolded screen. One is the main screen and the other is a cover display. The folded state makes it look like any other smartphone and the app behaves like it does with the other phones.
On the other hand, in the unfolded state, the phone allows the user to open other windows along with the app. It gives a high-end experience to the users and lets them view anything on a tablet like screen.
2. App design:
Since the phone lets you experience the apps and everything on the phone with either one hand and with both the hands, the apps should be created accordingly. In the case of folded state, a user will use only one of his hands to use and tap on anything on the screen.
While in the case of unfolded state, the user will have to hold the phone with both his hands. The design dynamics will change accordingly. A mobile app developer should keep in mind how much space to give between a thumb and a finger in the case of unfolded state.
3. Multi window display:
The foldable phones have a higher screen display and can use the space for multiple window display. It should allow users to multi task, making it a unique feature of the app.
4. Continuity of the screen:
A flow in the app while switching from one screen to another should be seamless. Since this is a high resolution phone, your app should also be of the same quality ensuring continuity.
5. Continuity of the app:
It is also important to insure smooth transition of an application while in use from a folded state to an unfolded state. Any sort of interruption during this transition might result in users deleting the app.
6. Screen ratios:
The screen ratios of a foldable phone are different from those of the regular Android or iOS phones. In these types of phones, the screen would vary from a super high long and thin screen to a ratio of 1:1. Before launching your app, you must test it on various screens.
Here are some things you should consider before you develop apps for foldable phones:
- Make sure it is resizable and equipped with multi window mode and can be opened in any ratio.
- Allow multi finger navigation for an enhanced experience.
- The screen ratios should be adjustable as it will vary when the phone is in folded state and would be something else in an unfolded state.
- You should allow the user to multi resume two windows, to allow musti tasking. Switching between two windows can be quite a task, therefore, it is best to give try a multi window display for an enriching experience.
- The most important aspect of any app is to ensure its quality. All users have something in mind before downloading an app, and if you don’t stand up to their expectations, you might just not stand the competition in the market. Therefore, take utmost care of the quality you are offering with you app.
- Lastly, be open to any sort of feedback – positive or negative. This will only help you improve your app and add features that the users are missing out on.
Things to learn while developing apps that are compatible with foldable phones:
- You must always make sure if the app is suitable for the phone or not. Use it first before launching it in the market.
- The productivity is put a notch higher, as the manufacturers are dependent on third-party softwares for developing apps according to the optimization of the phones.
- Features like multiple windows and additional unique features has made it important for the businesses or app developers to keep a check on the quality. This is one reason why the cost of these applications has gone high.
Foldable apps are the next big thing in the mobile phone market and is here to stay. App developers should start developing and testing applications that can work well with the two-state phone.