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How to Create Apps for Foldable Smartphones?

Alekh Verma | February 7, 2023
tech.esearchlogix blog-4

What you can see in the below picture?


This is the future of smartphones that you may see in the upcoming years.

You may have a smartphone that can show you the entire world within your palm. You may talk virtually in a holographic vision with your friend. You may roll your smartphone like a handkerchief and put it comfortably into your pocket. You may turn your smartphone into wearable device and do other essential things quickly.

Well, this future has not arrived yet but some of its glimpse has given hint in the form of foldable smartphone.

In 2019, when Samsung announced its foldable smartphones at a global conference and released the first version Galaxy Fold, it started a new trend in the smartphone market and showed a new age of mobile experience is coming.

Over 400,000 units of this Samsung Galaxy Fold sold out in spite of its high price, which proved how consumers are excited to use foldable smartphones. Then other big brands like Huawei, Motorola, Royale, and Microsoft released their foldable smartphones in the market and started a new competition.

This rising competition impacted at significant level that the foldable smartphone market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 21.3% for the period 2021-2026, which is truly high.

And foldable smartphones need different types of mobile applications to run their features so it has impacted the mobile app development sector as well. Today, businesses and entrepreneurs are looking for foldable smartphone app development solutions that can run successfully on all kinds of foldable mobile phones and meet users' expectations.

Developing apps for foldable smartphones requires an entirely different approach and methodology. Time has gone when developers have to scratch their head for one-mobile screen app, now they have to develop apps for two, three, or even more mobile screens.

If you want to know how to make it happen, here in this article, eSearch Logix will guide you on how to create apps for foldable smartphones that run seamlessly and flawlessly and support dual or triple mobile screen.

Foldable smartphones are about to replace current smartphones. If you have a business plan based on a mobile app you must know what does it take to build foldable smartphone apps so your business idea works successfully.

What is a Foldable Smartphone App?

Every mobile device or smartphone needs an application to run its features. Foldable smartphone is also a mobile device that can be folded so it requires an application that can support its software operations and enable its features to work properly. Foldable smartphone application is a rising term in the mobile app development industry.

For a decade, mobile app developers have been building apps for a one-screen mobile device. But with the growing emergence of foldable smartphones, the demand for foldable smartphone application development is growing.

Apple has not yet given any hint of foldable iPhone news that is why most foldable smartphones in this segment are Android.

Foldable smartphones can be either folded in the display or have a hinge that separates two portions. Foldable devices give users more immersive and intuitive experiences. And to implement all these functionalities, an app is needed.

Important Factors to Consider in Foldable Smartphone App Development

Foldable device technology seems exciting from user's point of view, but from a developer's perspective, it requires complex understanding of UX/UI design and feature enablement. Foldable smartphones provide a better immersive user experience than today's general smartphones.

They allow you to increase and decrease the screen size as per your preferences and usage. These mobile phones are good for multitasking as it has multiple screens working at the same time. It means you can work on a Google Sheet while watching a YouTube video or having a chat with your friends or colleagues.

For creating apps for foldable smartphones, there are many important factors need to be considered which are given below:

1. App Continuity

Foldable devices or smartphones can be folded into one or two screens. Here, developers need to ensure that apps can make transition from one screen to another when the user folds or unfolds the device. The application must resume in the same state and maintain continuity for user after the transition. Not only the app should be fit to the recent folded or unfolded screen, but the app features and its content should also scale accordingly.

2. Android's Dominance

Till the time Apple enter this market segment, the demand for Android application development for foldable devices in on the top. And this gives advantage to mobile app developers in testing and quality assurance as they are already aware of different Android OS features.

3. 2 States

In regular mobile phones, there is only one state; one single screen. But in foldable smartphones, there are two states of the screen- folded and unfolded screen.

  1. Folded state: The folded smartphone looks like a regular smartphone or tablet. In this state, it doesn't make any difference in how users interact with the phone and its feature because it works similar to the regular smartphone. For example, Samsung Galaxy Fold turns into a 4.58" screen known as Cover Display.
  2. Unfolded state: This is where the real thing happens. This same phone turns into a tablet giving more space to enrich the mobile experience. Here, UX designers have to use the extra space to give more context and add additional content or actions to the app. In Samsung Galaxy foldable version, the phone unfolds inwards, whereas in Huawei it is outwards. 

4. One-Handed / Two-Handed Mobile App Design

In current smartphones, users interact with one hand. But in foldable mobile devices, users need to interact with both hands in the unfolded state. Therefore, mobile app designers will need to adjust the placement of UI elements as per the behavior of mobile screens.

5. Multi-Window Functionality

Earlier, while using two or more applications on the same screen, the active app runs while the other app gets paused. But in foldable smartphones, there is a large space for multitasking. Foldable smartphone apps need the multi-window functionality which allows users to use multiple apps simultaneously.

It requires aspect ratio scaling and other app development challenges to make the app fit for multitasking functioning.

At eSearch Logix, our UX designers start with the folded state first to make the responsive UI design and sketch applications that best fit foldable smartphones.

6. Maintain Screen Ratio

Foldable smartphones support multiple screen ratios, thus, developers here need to fit multiple ratios that work perfectly. Android 10 (API level 29) supports a wide range of aspect ratios. However, in foldable devices, the multitude of screen ratios can be 1:1, 16:10, 5:3, 4:3, 16:9, 3:2, and 21:9. Ensure your app is responsive to all these screen ratios or for the specific one. 

7. The Spine

The spine is the junction line where the smartphone folds. This is similar to the spine of human body; it separates the whole body into parts. This spine can cause the app features to wrap and get displaced. That is why developer has to put extra effort to ensure the app's features should not be affected by the spine.

How to Develop an App for Foldable Smartphone

Step #1: Conceptualize the App

This is the first step in Foldable smartphone app development. You need to conceptualize what kind of app you want to make, for whom is the app for, what features will the app hold?

It requires deep market research and competitor analysis to set out the idea of what kind of app you will develop for the branded foldable smartphones. For this, you should plan your mobile app development based on the below questions:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What industry do you want to create apps for foldable device?
  3. How your app will accommodate the various foldable smartphone brands?
  4. What features it will include?
  5. How your app will stand out from your competitors?

Step #2: UX/UI Design

UX/UI design for foldable devices is completely different from regular mobile app design. You need to design the app considering all the features (from hardware to software level) of the foldable device.

Make sure that the app design is responsive and focuses on providing feature-rich and user-friendly experience while utilizing the maximum area of foldable smartphones.

Step #3: Choose the technology stack for Foldable Smartphone App development

Developers can use the currently available mobile app development frameworks to create apps for foldable smartphones. However, in foldable devices, the apps need to work properly as per various unique factors that are usually not found in regular mobile phones such as screen continuity, different screen ratios, multi-window, and two states functionalities.

Here, you will need to choose the dedicated technology stack for Foldable smartphone app development. Google provides some tools with Android Jetpack within a new Window ManagerAPI which enables the app to take more advantage of large screen size.

However, to create the standard app feature, you can rely on using popular frameworks like React Native, Vue.JS, FlutterJava, Xamarin, Apache Cordova and more.

Step #4: Start the Development Process and Ensure QA

Once you choose the best technology stack for the app development, you can start the development process. There are various app development methodologies you can adopt depending on your project requirements: Agile, RAD, or Waterfall.

Ensure the app must have dual screen support and works well for two states: flat (unfolded state) and closed (folded state). In addition to this, the app should support various UI elements and adapt to the changes in screen sizes.

After you build the MVP version, conduct vigorous testing to ensure quality assurance using various mobile app testing tools.

Step #5: Deploy the App

Now you are ready to launch your Foldable smartphone app. Ensure your app meets all the development and user guidelines of Google or Android for a smooth launch.

As foldable smartphone is new to the market, it may cause some unfamiliar issues or requirements. Therefore, take feedback from users and see what is working or what is not and then accordingly make changes to the app.

Conclusion: Don't Do It Yourself, Build with eSearch Logix

Foldable smartphones are gaining momentum. Top brands Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, Oppo have started a new segment of smartphone market where businesses now have to focus specifically.

The core advantage of this device is that it allows users to do multiple things simultaneously. Therefore, your app must support the device's features and design.

While other companies are now gearing up to develop apps for foldable smartphones, you can take competitive advantage now by offering an innovative application to users that run successfully on all branded foldable smartphones and make users happy.

If you are looking for something like this, we can do it for you. eSearch Logix is a premier mobile app development company who is expert in developing apps for foldable smartphones.

Our software engineers, programmers, AI specialists, and developers hold expertise on Samsung's Emulator APK, AOSP Foldable Emulator Android Studio 3.5, Android Jetpack, and Android foldable emulator.

If you feel interested,

Just Book a Free Online Consultation and Discuss Your Project

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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