Apps on Google Pixel Fold & other foldables can display content on both screens with Android 14
During the launch of the Google Pixel Fold, the company touted a feature it dubbed ‘dual screen interpreter mode’. The feature was to let users show translations on the inner and outer screens simultaneously. The idea here was if you were viewing the main screen (inner), the person you’re speaking to would be able to see the translation on the outer screen.
However, this feature wasn’t available at launch. Instead, Google rolled out the dual screen interpreter mode for the Pixel Fold through the Android 14 update. At the time of this writing, it remains the only app that takes advantage of both screens simultaneously. But this might not be the case for much longer.
As reported by Android Police, Google has extended the ability for all developers to allow their apps take advantage of both screens on foldables at the same time with Android 14. This is possible with the Jetpack WindowManager library that Google created. The library’s APIs allow apps to adapt to split layouts and even hinge angles.
Further investigation revealed that the successful utilization of features like the hinge angle sensor and rear screen relies on the implementation of specific Jetpack WindowManager Extensions modules by OEMs. These modules are dynamically loaded into the application process at runtime, enabling access to additional displays and areas on foldable devices. Consequently, apps can now display content not only on the inner screen but also on the outer screen or both.
Moreover, the publication further confirmed that both Google and Samsung have already implemented the window area module in their respective Android 14 updates. The function was tested successfully on the Pixel Fold and the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
According to the Android 14 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), devices equipped with foldable displays or folding hinges are mandated to implement the appropriate version of the Window Manager Extensions API level. However, OEMs are only required to incorporate features supported by their device hardware configurations.
To view the complete breakdown and findings, you can check out Android Police’s report. That being said, it’s now left to be seen how innovatively developers make use of the function on the Pixel Fold and other Android foldables running on Android 14.