There will be short-term and long-term adaption, revealed Google’s software engineers, and a full native support is coming with… Android Q, as you can see in the slides below, and that’s the first time Google mentions the next Android 10 version in any context.
For now, Google will support things like starting a YouTube video on the external Cover Display and continue watching where you left off on the larger, internal screen when you open it. You can see how this feat will be achieved in practice in Google’s GIF image above, where it has sketched it for bendy handset concepts of both the in-folding and out-folding types.
Two screens, one at a time
Samsung has apparently gotten Google so worked up about the possibilities of the new form factor that the team from Mountain View partnered with the team from Seoul on developing the interface adjustments for Samsung’s first foldable phone that will be released next year.
App continuity, transitions, and multi-resume
When you start using an app on the Cover Display of Samsung’s folded Gumby phone, it behaves just like a normal panel on a compact 5-incher, says Google, but open it up, and the continuity magic happens:
In addition, Google had to work on Samsung’s Multi-active Window idea which splits the internal screen in half, and then the right side gets split in two as well, for a total of three apps that can be run independently at once. Currently, two of those will remain paused when the foldable gets open unless both the app developer and the phone maker “opt in” for a multi-resume. A tweak coming down the pike in Android P will leave the manufacturer to flag all visible apps, while multi-resume will be mandatory in Android Q.