Foldable phones are the next big thing, and it's long been expected that Google, the developer of Android, will bring a 'Pixel Fold' type device to market. Of course, right now, that's nothing but rumour and conjecture.
That said, has Google just dropped a quiet hint about the potential of a Pixel Fold? Sort of. Although not directly related, Gboard, the swipeable virtual keyboard for Android devices, has recently added dual screen support so it can be used on foldable devices.
Sure, there's plenty of foldable phones to take advantage of this, from the Microsoft Surface Duo to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, but that's outright confirmation that Google is spending time getting its software up to scratch for Android devices with dual screens. Coincidence?
Like I say, it's certainly no proof, and at Google I/O 2022 the company was unusually forward-looking: confirming what the Pixel 7 will look like ahead of its October 2022 predicted release, but also explicitly talking about a new Pixel tablet device that'll hit the market in 2023.
If Google is talking in 2023 terms already and hasn't mentioned anything about a Pixel Fold then, well, it's clearly not yet ready. Could we really be left waiting as long as 2024 for one to surface? Well, if it means perfecting the format then that's quite possible. There had been rumours of a 2022 announcement, but I think that's now highly unlikely.
Even the best folding phones of today have their issues with reflective screens, repeat folding stability, 'gap' designs, and screen creases. Perhaps Google can be the one to advance its production abilities to solve such issues. Starting with the virtual keyboard is no bad thing, though, as the user experience will also be key. If, that is, we ever get to see a Pixel Fold in reality...