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Google's next Android overhaul said to embrace 'notch'
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-02-13 00:07:30

Google is working on an overhaul of its Android mobile software for a new generation of smartphones mimicking Apple Inc.'s controversial new "notch" at the top of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the situation.

The Android update, due later in the year, will also more tightly integrate Google’s digital assistant, improve battery life on phones and support new designs, like multiple screens and foldable displays, the people added.

A key goal of this year’s update to the Google mobile operating system is to persuade more iPhone users to switch to Android devices by improving the look of the software, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing the private plans. A Google spokesman declined to comment.

A bit short on actual details, but what's there is mostly the kind of stuff you'd expect Android to be preparing for. We're going to need to be closer to Google I/O for more concrete information.

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Comment by ssokolow
By ssokolow on 2018-02-13 01:12:50
I hope it doesn't catch on too much.

Low-volume devices like the Dragonbox Pyra depend on being able to source parts developed for higher-volume customers and I don't want a stupid, worthless notch running down the left/right edge of the screen on a future palmtop PC.

Edited 2018-02-13 01:13 UTC
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Only coming to those fortunate Pixel owners.
By moondevil on 2018-02-13 15:04:55
Whatever they came up with, OEMs won't deliver to their existing customers.
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RE: Only coming to those fortunate Pixel owners.
By Soulbender on 2018-02-14 09:51:51
In this case I think we can call them unfortunate.
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Comment by kurkosdr
By kurkosdr on 2018-02-14 23:00:26
...which is why I am so glad for my HTC U11+ purchase despite being a bit pricey. No notch and no OLED (which means no burn-in, no flickering at low brightness settings and no fuzziness in dark parts of the image). And it has battery and storage to spare. Unfortunately everyone wants "a Galaxy" or "the iPhone" (because marketing) so HTC is doomed as a company...

Edited 2018-02-14 23:01 UTC
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RE: Comment by kurkosdr
By zima on 2018-02-15 23:23:50
> no flickering at low brightness setting
Hm, white LEDs which light up LCD screens also commonly flicker to achieve low brightness setting...

PS. And since HTC is essentially Via ...the way I see it, they can suffer for all those buggy chipsets in the past! ;)

Edited 2018-02-15 23:25 UTC
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Time when we could
By przemo_li on 2018-02-16 10:51:25
Time when we could just summarize Google or Apple plans with single paragraph is long gone. At Google and it's partners and in the upstream projects there are multitude of teams working on their respective goals.

But now "focus" is only PR thing, to somehow compress thousands of changes into few talking points that will highlight what's new and why new Android is better choice for customers.
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RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
By kurkosdr on 2018-02-17 19:52:26
> Hm, white LEDs which light up LCD screens also commonly flicker to achieve low brightness setting...
I haven't noticed any flickering on the LCD of any phone. Instead, with OLEDs, when I quickly glance at them I can literally see them flicker.

Even in the case of LED-backlit LCDs, and even if the LED backlight uses pulse width modulation, faking 100% white at a low brightness setting (using pulse width modulation) produces less flicker than -say- faking 10% white at a low brightness setting using pulse width modulation, which is what the pixels in all OLEDs do to show 10% white. The "gaps" between the pulses have to be 10 times longer, simple.

Eyes are sensitive organs, I may have a sensitivity to flickering, and I am worried that when HTC folds I may not be able to source an LCD-equipped phone anymore.

Edited 2018-02-17 20:02 UTC
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RE[3]: Comment by kurkosdr
By zima on 2018-02-19 00:05:07
> Even in the case of LED-backlit LCDs, and even if the LED backlight uses pulse width modulation, faking 100% white at a low brightness setting (using pulse width modulation) produces less flicker than -say- faking 10% white at a low brightness setting using pulse width modulation, which is what the pixels in all OLEDs do to show 10% white. The "gaps" between the pulses have to be 10 times longer, simple.
Mostly true, however there are many LCD screens (though not in phones, I think; more in TVs) which have an array of LED backlights at the back of the panel, instead of on the edges, and "dim" not only liquid crystals in dark areas of the image, but also dim LEDs (most likely using PWM...) in dark areas, for greater contrast / "blacker" blacks.

> Eyes are sensitive organs
Eyes are sensitive but, like all our senses, also prone to ~placebo and the like (one of the most striking examples for eyes that I remember is a report by the ~BBC how a large percentage of TV viewers mistakenly believe they have HD signal on their new shiny HDTVs when they are reaaly watching only SD), one would have to do blind (no pun and all :P ) testing (and it's hard for mobile screen flickering, to make other factors even)
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