Google declares Android phones can have two notches at most

And with Android P being created to support the notch, Google is basically giving Android phone makers an incentive to come out with more notched phones. Similar to all the existing smartphones with notches, Android P will also require developers to use the space around the cutout for displaying status bar information only in normal mode - the status bar should be as broad as the notch. As a matter of fact, there can be only one notch per short edge, and there can't be multiple cutouts on the same margin.

You won't see multiple cutouts on a single edge, or more than two cutouts on a device. It's highly likely that we'll see companies trying to do something unique and different with display cutouts, perhaps even going over Google's recommended limit, but they'll have to keep in mind the risk given that apps will be designed for two notches at most. And it says, "By default, in fullscreen or landscape orientation, the entire cutout area must be letterboxed".

Another requirement, when the device is in portrait mode, the height of the status bar should extend to that of the cutout below which an app's content can be displayed. But it's always possible we see some insane designs with a lot of different notches from a manufacturer that doesn't have to follow those rules. "Often the notification icons get merged with the system icons, diluting the distinction and making it harder to understand which of these icons are important or urgent", said one of the Android P engineers.

People might credit iPhone X for bringing the notch into our lives; Essential did it before Apple with its PH-1 Android smartphone. Basically, it's the new Coke of Android screens.

Given the explosive growth of the notch, it's no surprise to see some major industry players express an interest in reigning in the trend.

Why have a notch when you can cut holes in a full-screen smartphone display? Jack Wallen ponders this and plays devil's advocate for the new world display order.