mobile app development

How To Build Apps For Foldable Smartphones?

Have you ever thought of carrying your tablet in your pocket? Turn to smart folds!

How-To Build Apps For Foldables

From the very initial days of the newly evolving smartphone industry back in 2008, there has always been a strive among the blue-chip smartphone manufacturing companies to increase the size of the display panels; they can fit onto a particular smartphone form factor to increase their customer base.

But as the size of display panels increase and new technologies such as OLED, Super AMOLED, etc., come into frame, they bring vast opportunities for both Android and iOS development companies.

With bigger displays, app development companies have greater flexibility to design their split-screen apps. To develop apps that support split-screen Android/iOS, there are various factors to consider such as better quality visuals, generating an upmarket UI feel, and of course, a wider range of functions that can now be planted on a single page of apps.

~ Dave Burke — VP Engineering (Android)

So, What Are We Gonna Learn And Extract Today?

The blog is all about -

  1. Smart and innovative features of foldable smartphones.
  2. What do customers expect from their favorite apps that support split-screen Android/iOS?
  3. How to structure and design apps for foldable smartphones?
  4. The balance of power and performance in apps for the premium fold segment.
  5. How to utilize the quality feedback to generate better app testing results. 

The Technology Behind Foldable Smartphones

Smart features such as Samsung’s Always On Displays are good examples of the foldable smartphone technology evolution. On a larger picture, we can say that more screen-more fun, meaning playing games on an Apple iPad Pro is much better than playing the same on a Samsung Galaxy S9 (just considering the screen size).

But with bigger screens comes a bigger form factor; you cannot carry around an iPad at ease, while in the case of S9, you can. But what if you are told that you can have the best of both worlds?

With the announcement of the world’s first commercially available foldable smartphone the Chinese OEM startup Royole reminded the world that there is more to technology with its Royole Flexpai. It is the only company that featured a single 7.8-inch OLED display that can be folded outwards.

Later that month at its developers' conference, Samsung officially teased a prototype of its folding smartphone, which would be produced "in the coming months". So, this was just a little bit of the history and impact of foldable smartphone technology.

Projected Shipments of Foldable Smartphones in 2019-2022

As per the survey done by Survey Monkey and others, this statistical graph reflects that there is a vast amount of unsaturation in the foldable smartphone market. As a result, the portability of these foldable smartphones is expected to attract a large customer base. With the rise of foldable, the need for smarter apps that support split-screen Android/iOS will also increase, that can work efficiently on these handsets.

 global foldable phone shipment data

But, Before Getting Started

The foldable smartphone technology can bring out a rich and exquisite experience for the users. But for the app development companies, it has created a lot of hefty stuff of app development left to be redesigned, restructured, and tested.

So today, we will cover all the technical preparations for foldable phones that an on-demand app development company or an app developer should keep in mind to develop smart, reliable, and premium applications for both iOS and Android. To develop mobile apps compatible with foldables, let us dive straight in!

What Do Users Expect In Their Smart Folds Apps?

Here are some quick pointers on what you should focus on before developing apps for foldable smartphones.

Premium Quality Expectation

While developing apps for a foldable phone with multi-screen in Android and iOS, consider the price point at which foldable smartphones are available to the customers. It can be segmented as a premium product category.

Since these folds fall in the premium category, their users expect some of the most extraordinary and innovative features of the smartphone industry. Highest quality visuals that can utilize the smart OLED technology to the fullest.

Uncompromised Performance

Completely synchronized experience for all the parts of the screen (generally two and can be more in some cases). Blazing fast switching from half screen mode to full-screen modes and vice versa. Split-screen apps should be re-engineered to become a good fit for their device without slowing down the whole system.

Smarter Accessibility

Accessibility features such as being able to reply to a messenger without the need to flip open their smart fold.

All these features listed above did give complete justice to the customer’s hard-earned pennies. But didn’t it raise the bar for the app developer community and corporations?

Yes, it did. So what are developers doing for that let’s see in the forthcoming section?

How to develop apps for foldable phones?

As the user expectations are rising, so the toughness for the developers. To deliver the best, developers are burning the midnight oil to bring out some smart and innovative approaches and practices; one should keep beforehand while developing apps specifically for the latest foldable range of smartphones. Let’s get started with how to develop apps for foldable phones.

Packing Performance And Quality In One Urn

Generally, in the rush to prove their supremacy against their rivals, developers and firms make smarter and exquisite-looking applications that generally use a lot of gimmicks in the UI.

For example - Adding a lot of animation, videos, and very high-quality images in the application ends up making the app that looks good but is less efficient in terms of performance.

So, while developing an app for a foldable smartphone one should always keep in mind that the app has perfect proportions of quality and performance, which could be achieved by running a vast and versatile variety of test cases.

Quality Feedback Matters

To speed up the process of building apps for foldables, before/while/after collecting user feedback plays a crucial role in split-screen app development.

Collecting Crucial Feedback

The development of foldable screen smartphones is evolving enormously so is the amount of data generated from users across the globe. This works as a valuable asset for the foldable devices app development community as it provides a very large resource of quality feedback, including app crash reports and user reviews.

Drawing Smart Insights

Utilizing such data is of apex importance as the issues arising in the split-screen apps of foldable smartphone users are unique when compared with the standard smartphone users.

This arises due to the different modes of operation of foldable smartphones (dual-screen Android phones) and their versatile usages. Thus, carefully assessing the feedback can drive out some crucial insights from that data.

App Testing For Foldable Devices

With the emergence of Foldables, how can on-demand app development companies prepare their apps? Let’s explore how to conduct app testing for foldable devices and how to optimize your app’s performance.

Don’t Avoid Rigorous Testing

Testing an app for different test cases is the most difficult part of the whole app development process. But why is it so? Even the most trusted and renowned programmers are never sure that their apps are ready to face every kind of situation.

The Need For A Vast Set Of Test Cases

This is because, with the large-scale growth of the smartphone industry, more and more manufacturers are baking some of the most unique form-factors that are possible to be invented.

One such technology is a foldable smartphone, which is rising the quantity and quality of test cases enormously. This is due to the different working aspect ratios and modes of these smart folds.

aspect ratios and modes of smart folds

Be Ready To Deal With Multitasking Capabilities

While developing apps for a foldable phone with multiple screens, you need to take care of every nitty-gritty detail.

Utilize The Power Of SoCs (System on Chip)

The new foldable smartphones are incredibly useful and capable of multitasking as they are backed by solid processing power SoCs such as a Snapdragon 888 or an Exynos 9 Series.
This processing power is utilized by developers in creating special features for the clients, a few of which are aggregated below:

More Windows Are Always Useful

Multi-tasking using multi-window mode, this feature provides the backbone to some of the most critical tasks such as carrying out calculations on one half of the screen and writing the results back to the excel sheet on the other half.

multi-window mode

Smart Switching

Flip Open to enlarge an app, most foldable smartphones (dual-screen Android phones) coming out nowadays are having three screens (One on each fold of the phone, the other on the outer side for notifications, and one-handed operation) as standard.

Split-screen apps developed for these smart folds should be optimized in such a way that if the user wants to see the contents of the outer screen (when the phone is flip closed) on the full screen he just needs to flip open the phone. This would cause the whole UX to get upscaled and give the users a premium feel.

What Else Should Be Considered While Developing Applications For A Fold?

Do you want to develop apps for foldable smartphones? Here are the factors you must consider when building apps for foldables.

Smart Scrolling With Synchronization

In the new era of foldable smartphones and social media, Scrolling is an important aspect of any app as there is a lot of content for the users to read and watch. 

In all this, a smart developer must practice innovation that the app developed by him must act in a synchronized way on both halves of the phone. So, that he/she creates a seamless experience for the user or client.

Utilizing The Capability Of Display Units

This sync and continuity combined with the high refresh rates (90Hz, 120Hz, and so forth) of the latest display units of these smart folds generate a better-quality standard and an upmarket premium feel, which leads to a better customer base.


Developing a super clean and useful dual screen app for Android/iOS is not a piece of cake in the case of foldable smartphones.

On a contrary, it is getting tougher day by day as the market for foldable smartphones is highly saturated. Consequently, the app development companies are struggling hard to provide support for every aspect ratio for all the foldable phones with multiple screens that are baked into a particular form factor. So, to overcome these situations, the final takeaways from our blog are as follows:

  • Always create a good balance of performance and usability.
  • Always keep in count the high-quality customer base of these smartphone users, They want to enjoy a top-notch UI and UX.
  • Utilize the high processing capacity of these devices to the fullest.
  • Use technologies like a flutter to keep the job easy for the developer community.
  • Always remember, analyzing good quality feedback will always help to create better test cases which in turn would help to create better apps for premium customers of this costly segment of smartphones.

So, these are some of the vital steps of creating a split-screen app from scratch, explaining what goes into designing for foldable phone apps, and also consider important steps before building an app.

Meanwhile, we hope this article will help you in developing mobile apps compatible with foldables and get the insight that you were looking for. Still, if you have any queries or if you want to hire mobile app developers from the top app development companies, connect with MobileAppDaily if you have any queries.

Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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