Ever tire of the incessantly increasing size of phones? We certainly do. So, it’s good news that Google could be eyeing up a dedicated one-handed mode to shrink the screen of your mobile into something a lot more manageable in Android 12.
Indeed, phones just don't stop getting bigger: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra being a recent, larger-than-life example of this trend. Despite companies employing various ways to tackle the issue, none have sufficiently addressed the problem.
If reports hold to be true and a one-handed mode is debuting in Android 12, it could overhaul the ease of using our handsets. But what does this actually mean for your phone? Well, for starters, it should see the ability to enter the one-handed functionality with a simple gesture, such as swiping from the bottom corner. We’re certain that entering this mode should be hassle-free, as it defeats the very purpose of this mode if it's impossible to get into.
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Oversizing is a frequent complaint that obviously hasn’t gone unheard in the phone industry. With many of our best Android phones, best iPhones, even many of the devices on our rundown of the best cheap phones, substantially enlarging over the years, it seems the industry is listening and responding.
Be that so, Android has already sought to tackle size issues with several Android skins – like Samsung’s One UI – letting you scale the screen both horizontally and vertically, making it more manageable.
Google is reportedly planning to switch things up (or rather downwards) by only downsizing your phone vertically. Information suggests that a one-handed mode, that scales to a sort-of vertically-shorter screen, is noted in the code repositories for the open-sourced codebase of Android (via XDA Developers).
It’s arguable that the increasing predilection for flippable and foldable phones is because of this exponential production of larger phones. You only need to look at the form-factor of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3, or the clamshell-esque frame of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
Apple is itself now reported to be set on a smaller, clamshell design, for a possible flippable iPhone. The common thread is sheer compactness, ease of portability, which obviously makes these screens more user-friendly.
Google natively including this function in Android 12 could be a game-changer, but it also depends on whether the feature can scale to different apps, and whether developers make widespread use of it across various Android handsets.