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Google’s Folding Phone Plan includes two devices from the Android 12.1 release

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Magnification / These are Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 devices, but Google’s foldable hardware is reported to follow Samsung’s footsteps.

Samsung / Ron Amadeo

Google Pixel Fold is almost inevitable. Samsung’s hardware efforts have made foldable the next big Android form factor. The Android team has already begun to think about foldables by incorporating basic support into Android 10 for the launch of the first Galaxy Fold. Part of the point of Google phones is to provide the Android team with in-house hardware to experiment and build the next version of Android. So if the collapsible is the next big one, Google needs to create it.

This is pretty much what the rumored factory points to, and Google combines the best of both worlds currently available on the market: Samsung-style foldable hardware with an iPad-OS-style dock interface for multitasking. It is reported that it plans to make it easier.

First, hardware: Pixel 6 is a good framework to consider when considering future Pixel foldables. Google’s upcoming slab smartphone is very Samsung, with a Samsung modem with a new “Google Tensor” SoC and mmWave co-developed with Samsung’s Exynos division. The Galaxy S21 doesn’t even use a Samsungmm Wave modem. There is no doubt that the new main camera sensor is the 50MP Samsung GN1 and the 120Hz display is also made by Samsung. The foldable will probably have a similar configuration. 1 metric ton of Samsung hardware DNA and Google software.

It sounds like what we’re getting: Google versions of Samsung’s two big foldable styles, the Galaxy Z Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip phone. Google’s Galaxy Fold device phones that open on large-screen tablets have long been rumored under the codename “passport.” There were reports that the device would open up to a 7.6-inch display (same as the Fold 3), and some “passport” references were found in the Android codebase.

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Recently, there wasn’t much news about the Pixel Passport (not the final name), and there was never a leak of live images or designs on the device, so I started wondering if the device was still happening. And it’s not entirely unexpected that Google will push some of its devices at a later date, as the global chip shortage still causes all sorts of confusion. :

I’ve heard from someone I believe that the foldable Pixel (codename: passport, retail brand: unknown) will actually be available by the end of the year. Apparently they’ve been working on this device for over two years and it’s worth a look if the P6 is any sign.

E (@evleaks) September 20, 2021

Other Google foldable news comes from 9to5Google, which says there will be a second foldable codenamed “Jumbo Jack”. Alongside the Fold-style passport, which is a hybrid of mobile phones and tablets, the device looks like the Galaxy Flip, a regular-sized smartphone that folds in half like an old-fashioned foldable mobile phone. 9to5Google states that it has detected “multiple instances of jumbo jacks being used as tester devices” in various special folding modes of devices such as the Galaxy Flip.

On the software side, XDA Developers reports that the Android team seems to be preparing an out-of-cycle update for Android. It focuses on collapsible features. I don’t know what this is called, but it’s between Android 12 and Android 13, so the community calls it “Android 12.1”. Part of the foldable software push is the iPadOS-style taskbar interface. , Frequently used apps and recently used apps are displayed. Mishaal Rahman of XDA has already enabled this feature on Android 12 Preview 2, but this feature hasn’t improved since then. This is probably due to being pushed to this midcycle release. As Rahman writes:

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Google’s internal AOSP codebase includes some improvements to the current minimum required taskbar functionality. The code changes that implement the taskbar tutorial describe some of its planned features. First, when you enter the tutorial, you’ll see an animation that describes the icon as a wave that scales up and down. Next, in the tutorial, drag the app icon to one side of the screen and press and hold it to hide the taskbar at any time (docking) and add your favorite apps / forecasts to launch the two apps in split screen view. I will explain how to do it. App to taskbar. When setup is complete, the taskbar will remain visible at the bottom of the screen, but will automatically disappear when the app is full screen.

It all sounds like an iPad, but I think it’s great. The iPad dominates the tablet market completely, and the new dock / taskbar interface is perfect for multitasking productivity. Note that this is done on a foldable phone, so Google is trying to pack iPad-style multitasking into its pocket.

Rahman even found a small photo of this feature in Google’s codebase.

It’s unclear when Android 12.1 will be available, but there’s no doubt that Google will release the foldable Pixel and its foldable software in one big release. If that’s all happening at once, you probably don’t have that many months left in the year after the launch of Pixel 6 and Android 12. Perhaps write it with a pencil in December?

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/09/googles-foldable-phone-plans-include-two-devices-android-12-1-release/

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