Foldable phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and to some extent dual-screen phone like the LG G8X ThinQ push the boundaries of smartphone factors. The downside to such novelty is that the platform and its apps may not exactly be designed to accommodate the new use cases foldable and dual-screen phones open up. That is why, on the day of its launch in South Korea, Samsung is assuring current and would-be owners of its expensive and now rare Galaxy Fold that they won’t be left fumbling in the dark with apps that have been updated to take advantage of the new breed of device.
A foldable phone like the Galaxy Fold actually requires at least two new functionality that the base Android hasn’t supported before. One is the ability to switch between two layouts on the fly, one in a small phone size for the outer display and then to the larger, tablet-like UI on the large foldable screen. The other functionality is multi–resume which actually lets two apps run simultaneously without pausing, a perfect fit for the multi-window capabilities of the Galaxy Fold.
When Samsung first announced the Galaxy Fold, it also made the rather surprising and uncharacteristic revelation that it worked closely with Google to actually prepare the then still-in-development Android Q for a foldable future. That includes not just the underlying Android platform but also apps like Maps and YouTube.
Now Samsung is assuring Galaxy Fold customers that they won’t be getting a less than ideal experience, at least as far as the popular apps go. It lists Amazon Prime Video, iHeartRadio, App in the Air, and even Microsoft Office as those apps and partners that have gotten on the train.
Of course, that still doesn’t cover the majority of the apps that Android users use daily but app developers are not without recourse. Thanks to that close collaboration with Google, they can update their apps to the latest Android 10 APIs’ using even Android’s official emulator to test their apps. Whether they jump on the train as well, however, will depend on how well the market will receive the $2,000 phone.