Google wants developers to update their apps to support 18:9 aspect ratio

Android phones appear to be moving towards a new aspect ratio, and Google is politely reminding developers to update their apps or users will suffer.

When LG launched the G6 they made a big deal about its 18:9 aspect ratio display, and for good reason. The ratio allows two squares to be displayed next to each other and opens up a range of new possibilities – in particular for VR. Samsung has since followed suit with a similar ratio screen in the Galaxy S8; albeit marginally different to accommodate its curved display.

Most current applications when run on these phones will end up showing black bars above and below the user interface because they’re designed for the cinema-standard 16:9 aspect ratio found on most smartphones.

Developers are recommended to adjust their apps’ maximum supported ratio by updating android.max_aspect <meta-data> in the app's <application> element. This post goes into more detail.

With the apparent interest around the Galaxy S8, it’s worth updating your apps prior to its release. We’ll likely see further handsets adopting the same ratio as the G6 and S8 moving forward, and it never hurt to be prepared.

For more information on how to update your apps, take a look at this Google developer blog.

What are your thoughts on the 18:9 aspect ratio? Let us know in the comments.

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