Foldable devices are the next big thing in the global smartphone industry. Leading smartphone makers worldwide have announced foldable smartphone models. Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Motorola are some of the most prominent brands that have plans to launch foldable smartphones. This trend has also impacted the mobile app market, be it an app development company or a smartphone hardware supplier.
The financial impact of these emerging trends of foldable smartphones has been quick. This is mainly due to the fact the foldable smartphone technology has fascinated consumers, grabbing their attention. Every major smartphone brand has promptly reacted to this consumer behavior by announcing plans for foldable devices. This means that the app development industry will have significant effects on the emergence of foldable phones.
Embracing the trends of foldable smartphones is equally important for the industry, whether we talk about an Android app development company, or a smartphone retailer. More importantly, this will a crucial shift in the market for smartphone app developers. In the following paragraphs of this blog, we will comprehensively discuss the process of developing apps for foldable smartphones.
But before that, we should have a look at various factors that are associated with foldable smartphones and how they could impact the market.
1. User Experience Dominates
Foldable smartphones are all about superior user experience and quality more than anything else. A customer’s decision to buy a costly foldable smartphone is associated with unprecedented expectations. This means the app development markets need to get better in terms of UX and quality.
2. Test, Test, and Test
Skyrocketing user experience brings us to a critical part of the app development process: testing. Every app built for a smartphone needs to undergo rigorous testing to ensure superior quality and immersive experience.
3. Feedback Becomes Pivotal
The foldable smartphone market is very new. It means there immense opportunities for innovation and improvement. Mobile app developers will have to take users’ feedback more frequently to make the app experience better.
4. Development Time & Cost Get a Hike
The development process for foldable smartphones is much more sophisticated than traditional apps. Hence the process of development is more complex and time-consuming. This also means the involvement of more money in the app development process.
Designing & Developing Foldable Smartphone Apps
Considering the above-mentioned factors, we can easily understand why it is so important for a developer to understand the development process. Let’s discuss this process in a step-by-step manner.
Designers and developers need to always keep in mind that the foldable smartphones have two states: unfolded and folded. Hence every single app would be designed keeping this in mind.
I. Folded & Unfolded States
In the unfolded state, the device works much like a tablet computer. This is where app developers can leverage the opportunity to create a superior app experience. The extra space can be used for creating new features and experiences in the pp.
While in the folded state, the smartphone behaves like a traditional device. For this state, designers don’t have to change much. However, the designers should remember that folding and unfolding drastically changes the screen size of the device.
II. Continuity of the App
An app designer needs to consider include continuity of the app during the transition from folded to unfolded and vice versa. The app must be able to automatically make a seamless transition for folded to unfolded and unfolded to folded. Hence the designers need to create a dynamic resizing of the apps.
III. Multi-Window Screens
The ability to run multiple windows concurrently is one of the most desired features of foldable smartphones. Upgrading from traditional smartphones, the foldable devices will have the capability to run three or more apps at the same time. Making the drag and drop compatible in the apps becomes desired in a multi-window mode. Activities of the app remain ‘resumed’ during a multi-window operation. This functionality is called a multi-resume state.
IV. Changed Screen Ratio
Foldable smartphones significantly change screen rations. These changes are even more remarkable than augmented reality app development. The form factor of the screens would vary substantially – from a long and thin screen to a 1:1 ratio. Several tools are available to measure and create screen ratios for foldable smartphones.
App Testing For Foldable Smartphones
With so many first-of-its-kind changes, features and functionalities of these apps will need more rigorous testing. The tests should mainly take into account changes in configuration, the efficiency of multi-window and multi-resume, and the accuracy of new screen rations. If all these factors are tested properly, we can expect a superior performance of a foldable smartphone app.
In all, designers and developers need to understand how the development process changes for foldable smartphones. It all starts with thinking carefully about user experience. Foldable smartphones are largely associated with consumer expectations. Hence only the app developers with best UX will succeed. Creating flawless UX will require vast and rigorous testing for various new features and functionalities. With this, the time and cost of app development also increase. On the support front, mobile app maintenance becomes more complex with the advent of foldable smartphones.
Designers have bigger responsibilities in creating foldable smartphone-compatible apps. They need to carefully work on an array of design elements, including app continuity, multi-window screens, and changed screen ratio, among others. Businesses, therefore, need to hire mobile app developers with a thorough understanding of these factors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q.1. Will foldable phones take off?
The popularity of foldable smartphones is growing. With almost every major smartphone announcing foldable smartphones, the market is forecast to grow substantially. Smartphone makers like Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Motorola have announced their plans for foldable smartphones.
Q.2. How much does it cost to develop an app for foldable phones?
The development cost for foldable smartphones is comparatively higher than traditional apps. However, there’s no predefined cost for development. The total cost depends mainly on what kind of foldable smartphone app you need.
Q.3. What is augmented reality app development?
Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment. In an AR experience, the objects of the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. AR can also extend to multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, somatosensory and olfactory.
Q.4. What is the process of app development?
Mobile app development is an iterative process. The development process is broken into smaller milestones, comprising a series of cycles. Each cycle includes planning, development, testing, and deployment. Developers need to follow international quality standards while developing the app.