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[Discussion] Optimized Apps for Larger Screens: Google's New Focus for Android

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Google Amplifies Pressure on Developers

Google has announced an aggressive move to improve the user experience of Android tablets and foldable devices, by compelling app developers to enhance full-screen app support.

Google's Nudge for Developers

Through a blog post released recently, Google made clear its intent to better the experience on larger Android screens. This move, aimed at increasing developer focus on optimizing apps for bigger displays, is set to start taking effect by late August.

Making Good Full-Screen Support a Selling Point

Google's strategy involves increasing the visibility of apps that demonstrate high-quality resizing capabilities, exclude letterboxing, and offer seamless support for both portrait and landscape modes. This appraisal will become a factor in the Google Play Store's "Editorsโ€™ Choice Apps" selections and other promotional features.

A More 'Content Forward' Approach

Google intends to introduce 'content forward formats' to provide screenshots tailored to the form factor of different devices. This will enable users to preview how an app will appear in different modes - landscape or portrait.

Penalties for Underperforming Apps

Warnings are also in the pipeline for apps that fail to operate efficiently on larger screens. Initially, these warnings will pertain to 'technical quality' issues such as app crashes or performance hitches. However, according to Google spokesperson Nia Carter, plans are underway to notify users of apps that are not optimized for larger screens.

A Win for Pixel Fold Users

The new policy brings a sigh of relief to Pixel Fold users who have long awaited an improved user experience. Unlike Samsung, which offers a workaround to force apps into landscape mode when they lack support, Google has steered clear of similar measures for its Pixel tablets and foldable phones. This change in approach from Google, encouraging app developers to enhance their support for full-screen apps, is a much-needed step forward.

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