What you need to know
- The Google Weather and Keep apps' redesigned interfaces for larger screens have been made public.
- Some third-party apps like Deezer, SideChef, and Line have also been optimized for foldable smartphones.
- Google highlights these changes as the Pixel Fold hits store shelves today.
As the Google Pixel Fold goes on sale today, the search giant highlighted a few first-party and third-party apps that have been redesigned from the ground up to adapt to larger screens.
Google already disclosed during the unveiling of the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet last month that 50 of its apps were getting foldable phone redesigns. Some of those updates have already been rolled out to first-party apps, such as Google Home and Google Keep. Google Weather is among those that have recently been adapted to the larger screen.
In a blog post, the company explains that these changes adhere to three design principles, such as two-pane layouts, app continuity, and responsive layouts, with the goal of making the most of screen real estate.
The Weather app's all-blue screen that previously appeared on Android tablets with a sparse display of details on the home screen is now gone. Instead, it has been replaced with an information-dense interface that requires far less tapping and scrolling to view important weather data.
You'll also see more iconography for various weather conditions and new visuals, including animated gauges for wind and humidity. The app only shows the current day's forecast when the phone is folded. Otherwise, its interface adapts to display more weather information in a two-pane layout. The redesign also makes it easier to tap on any day to view the weather forecast for that day.
For Google Keep, which was updated with a more foldable-friendly redesign in 2022, there's an option to scour the left pane for a certain note you need, as well as the ability to edit it on the right. Like the Weather app, Google's note-taking app transitions to a two-pane layout when you unfold your Pixel Fold.
The same layout is adopted by Deezer in order "to create an optimal listening experience and help fans connect with music on a deeper level." In addition to player controls on the right pane, you'll be able to view the artist's album art, lyrics, share button, overflow menu, and heart button on the left.
Messaging app Line also displays your active chats on the left pane and the conversation details on the right, so you don't have to make a lot of taps when toggling between individual chats.
Meanwhile, SideChef now automatically adjusts when you open the app in split-screen mode. This means you can open a timer on the left pane while SideChef's step-by-step instructions stay on the right side of the screen.
These changes demonstrate Google's commitment to large-screen devices like the Pixel Fold, which also happens to be a key focus for Android 14. Today's announcement comes as Google releases new APIs and tools in the stable channel to assist developers in optimizing their apps for large-screen devices.
The Pixel Fold is finally here after years of anticipation, and it's the latest example of how Google takes hardware seriously, giving users more ways to interact with their devices when folded or unfolded.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.