The foldable display is the next big thing in smartphone technology. The lead was given by Samsung with the announcement of its Samsung Fold smartphone. Now all the major players in the smartphone market such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Apple and others are striving to bring foldable smartphones into the market. Foldable phones basically have foldable edges. This means the edges are not rigid and can be unfurled to increase the size of the display screen. A single display screen can be changed into a dual display. It means the user can switch from a normal smartphone screen size to a tablet-sized screen whenever required. A larger display makes the experience more immersive for the user and multiple windows make multi-tasking possible. Foldable phones will also have a significant impact on the camera. The front and rear cameras of a smartphone vary in quality with one camera being superior to the other. In a foldable smartphone, the main camera can act as both a front and rear camera. The manufacturers are also able to design a single high-grade main camera instead of devoting resources to multiple cameras. Single-camera also leaves space to integrate additional components in the phone.
The challenges before game app developers to adapt to the folding smartphone technology are numerous. And the time is short because the mass production of foldable smartphones is in the offing within a couple of years.
- Blurred distinction between tablet and smartphone gaming
Even though the display screens of smartphones have increased over the years, there is a distinction between games developed for tablets and smartphones. With the advent of foldable smartphones, the game app developers would have to set a higher standard screen size. Thus, the gaming apps that were designed to fit conventional smartphone screens would be scaled up for tablet screens to work on foldable smartphones. However, the biggest advantage would be more space available for hire iPhone application developers to integrated UI elements and controls.
- Aspect Ratio
A foldable smartphone will have one aspect ratio when folded and another aspect ratio when unfolded. The difference in aspect ratios between folded and unfolded display screen varies across devices. The challenge before game app developers is to ensure that the game switches from one aspect ratio to another smoothly across devices. Thus, they need to don the hat of mobile web developers and create universal gaming apps that transition flawlessly among foldable smartphones of various aspect ratios. The aspect ratios can vary from 21:9 to even 1:1. Thus, testing the gaming app for all the aspect ratios in this range is important.
The gaming app must have dynamic resizing and must also have multiple window mode. This ensures that the app has complete compatibility with all devices including foldable smartphones. Testing the app in split-screen mode is essential. A foldable emulator can also be used to test the app.
- Continuity across screens
There are multiple variables governing app continuity across various screens. Resolutions, densities and dimensions vary across screens. The gaming app must support two resolutions at the very least for folded and unfolded screens. If the rotated orientation is to be supported as well, then four resolutions must be supported.
- Multi-finger navigation
Smartphones are held in one hand while the fingers of the other hand is used for navigation. But a foldable smartphone would be held in both hands and fingers of both hands would be used for navigation. Thus, the UI/UX mobile application design development elements of the gaming app should allow multi-finger navigation which improves user experience immensely.
Mobile game developers should prepare for foldable smartphones. The future belongs to flexible gaming and it is essential for developers to adapt accordingly.