Sorry, Android. You can’t have more than two notches

A smartphone with a list of notch options on its display

Google lays down the law on notches so OEMs can’t screw them up

It is aimed at developers on how to optimize their applications to make good use of the notch.

The guidelines have also thrown up a few rules for Android OEMs.

Given that three notches on a phone is more far-fetched than reality at this point, the framework in this blog post seems slightly unnecessary, except from the standpoint of Google wanting to spell out limits that just ensure a smooth app experience never mind the device being used.

Devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device. It's also worth noting that this limit won't actually stop some "renegade" brands from building phones with three or more notches, considering the open-source nature of the Android platform. Therefore, some of these rules might not make sense, unless Google has something secret planned for a launch later this year with multiple cutouts. "You won't see a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device", wrote Potoski.

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For developers, this means all app windows "will be letterboxed so that none of your content is displayed in the cutout area", regardless of whether they're in landscape or full-screen mode. Nonetheless, we could find out soon enough, and even see stable versions of the software on some phones in August itself. "Often the notification icons get merged with the system icons, diluting the distinction and making it harder to understand which of these icons are important or urgent", said one of the Android P engineers.

It was always unlikely, but this rules out the triple-notched Android phone you've all been dreading. There can only be a single notch on each edge of the display. Smartphone makers could go that way in the future, leading to smartphones that are filled with entirely unnecessary notches. Whether you love it or hate it, here are eight examples of phones with carved-out front tabs. That means no notch support on the side of the display.

Since Apple released the notch, there has been much derision cast toward the feature.

This little black cut-out on top of the screen may look like an eyesore, but more and more phones are jumping on this trend.

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