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An Ultimate Guide to Developing Mobile Apps for Foldable Devices

630 Views | 1 min | Published On: August 17, 2023 Last Updated: December 29, 2023
Mobile Apps for Foldable Devices

Foldable smartphones marked a significant advancement in smartphone technology, transforming traditional phone designs into more versatile and adaptable devices. 

While foldable devices are considered in their early stages, industry experts foresee a promising future. The market is projected to experience a substantial surge, with an estimated annual increase of 80% by 2025. Furthermore, it is anticipated to reach a remarkable value of $57.33 billion by 2029. This forecast illustrates the strong trajectory that foldable devices are on, indicating their increasing popularity and adoption among consumers.

The zealousness of foldable devices presented a significant challenge for application development companies. These innovative devices introduced a new form factor and screen configuration that requires applications to adapt and optimize user interfaces for seamless use across both folded and unfolded states. 

Moving forward, let’s carve into the intricacies of the development process for foldable devices and explore the steps involved. But before we dive into the cost estimation for developing an app tailored for flip phones, gathering further details about the specifics and characteristics offered by this standout smartphone is essential. 

So, let’s begin!

How are Foldable Devices Different from Regular Smartphones?

The rise of foldable devices began around 2019 with the introduction of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. This device incorporated a foldable screen, allowing users to switch between a compact smartphone and a larger tablet-like display. It offered a 7.3-inch display that could be folded in half, combining the portability of a smartphone with the productivity of a tablet. 

The trend of foldable devices gained momentum with several companies introducing their innovative smartphones. Oppo entered the foldable arena with the Oppo Find N followed by Xiaomi’s Mix Fold and Motorola’s revitalized Razr also joined the foldable revolution, adding their twists to the concept.

Application developers had to address various technical complexities as compared to regular smartphones, ensuring that apps could seamlessly switch between different screen sizes, layouts, and orientations. 

Here’s a table highlighting some of the key technical differences between regular smartphones and foldable smartphones:

Aspects Regular Smartphone Foldable Device
Form Factor Single, rigid display Foldable display with hinges or folds
Screen Orientation Fixed portrait/landscape Dynamic
App Layout Fixed layout design Adaptive layout design
Multi-Windows Limited Multitasking Enhanced Multitasking
App Continuity Limited cross-screen flow Seamless cross-screen flow
UI Element Standard UI components Foldable optimized elements
Coding Consideration Standard coding practices Tailored coding for modes
Software Optimization Limited software adaption Software needs to support multi-layouts
Use Cases Traditional smartphone functions Enhanced multitasking and versatility

Foldable smartphones introduce new dimensions for multiscreen app development. While regular smartphones follow established UI norms, flip phones require a more flexible and innovative approach to provide foldable device user experiences across various modes and orientations.

innovative approach to provide foldable device user experiences across various modes and orientations.

What Impact Do Foldable Devices Have on App Development?

Projections suggest that by 2025, around 50 million foldable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels will be sold. This anticipated growth is an indication of the growing demand for foldable technology. 

Foldable devices stand out in the tech landscape due to their transformative design, offering users a versatile and immersive experience that traditional smartphones or tablets cannot replicate.

In response to these challenges, application development companies have to invest in research, testing, and optimization to ensure that various multi-window apps could provide a cohesive and enjoyable experience on foldable devices. For example,

  • Video Viewing Apps:

Apps can allow users to watch videos on a larger screen and switch effectively. Developers need to create adaptable layouts that adjust seamlessly to different screen configurations.

  • Business Apps:

Foldable screens enable users to have multiple apps open side by side, enhancing multitasking for business professionals. Developers should design business apps with foldable user experience elements for both single and multi-screen use.

  • Social Media Apps:

Having more space for interactive features, such as displaying conversations while browsing a feed is an add-on functionality. The App Development Process ensures that social media apps work seamlessly in the “flex mode” of foldable devices without compromising functionality.

  • Banking Apps:

Foldable screens can allow users to view their accounts and perform transactions simultaneously. This category of apps is highly confidential and privacy-protective which requires a high-end tech stack. 

  • Gaming Apps: 

The functionality offers a wider field of view, enhancing the gaming experience. Developers can explore new gaming controls that take advantage of the folding mechanism. App optimization of foldable devices ensures a unique gaming experience for users. 

How to Effectively Develop Apps for Foldable Smartphones?

Developing apps for foldable smartphones requires careful consideration of the unique features and capabilities of the device screen.

Designing 

When initiating the design of a mobile app for foldable smartphones, consider these five essential aspects.

  • Two Screen State

Two Screen State

Designing for foldable smartphones involves accommodating two primary screen states:

In its usual folded state, the device behaves like a traditional smartphone, with a single screen. It’s crucial to ensure that the app’s layout and content remain coherent even when the screen is folded. 

In the unfolded state, the app should take full advantage of the expanded screen of real estate. This presents an opportunity to provide users with enhanced multitasking, more information visibility, and an immersive experience. 

Multi-screen app development requires anticipation of how users will interact with the app as they switch between these two states. 

  • One or Two-hand App Design 

With foldable phones, users might interact with the device using one hand in the folded state and both hands in the unfolded state. The app design must ensure essential actions and controls are easily reachable and accessible in both usage scenarios, optimizing convenience and comfort for users.

  • Multi-Display Support

The primary goal of foldable devices is to offer users larger screens and enhanced multitasking capabilities. App design should align with this purpose, allowing users to surf through features that enable seamless multitasking, split-screen views, and efficient content navigation that enhances the foldable device user experience. 

  • Muti-Resume

Muti-Resume

Multi-resume is a feature introduced in Android 10 and later versions that optimizes app multitasking on foldable devices. Before Android 10, running two apps simultaneously would pause the activity in the background. With multi-resume, apps can run independently in split-screen mode, maintaining their active state even when one app is in the background. 

  • Screen Continuity 

This pivotal feature in foldable devices ensures a smooth transition and consistent experience when an app is moved between different screen configurations.

For instance, when an app is opened on the cover display of a foldable device and then unfolded to reveal the larger main display, screen continuity ensures that the app seamlessly transitions and adjusts its layout, content, and functionality to fit the new screen dimensions, providing a cohesive user experience. 

4 Challenges to Acknowledge Before Developing Foldable Device App

Developing apps for foldable devices comes with unique challenges for optimal user experience and functionality. Here are four key challenges to acknowledge:

  • High-End Quality

Developing mobile apps for foldable devices requires a high level of attention to detail and quality. Ensuring a flawless user experience across different screen states, orientations, and form factors is indeed a challenging task.

Putting in extra efforts to create a top-notch app will not only result in user satisfaction but also contribute to the overall success and reputation of the app in the long run.

  • Rigorous Testing 

The complexity of managing different screen states and interactions demands thorough testing to identify and rectify any potential errors or glitches. Testing should encompass various scenarios, including different folding angles, transitions between states, and multitasking functionalities. 

This process aims to ensure smooth app behavior, responsive UI elements, and consistent performance.

  • Increased Time and Cost 

Ensuring compatibility with different foldable devices, such as those with varying screen sizes and configurations, can increase the testing and development timeframe. This may lead to higher development costs, as more resources are allocated to quality assurance and bug fixing. 

Consulting a reputable custom mobile app development company provides accurate time and cost estimation for foldable device apps.

  • Changes and Update 

After deploying the app, monitoring feedback and regular updates ensure compatibility with evolving technologies, offering a seamless experience on foldable devices. This will help you make the required changes for better user engagement. 

Key Steps to Implement for Developing Foldable Device App

To create a well-designed and functional app that takes full advantage of the unique capabilities offered by foldable devices follow the given below steps: 

Step 1. Market Research and Ideation 

Begin by understanding user needs and the competitive landscape. Identify how a foldable device can enhance user experience in your app. Brainstorm ideas for unique features and functionalities. Ask questions: 

1. Which features can capitalize on foldable device advantages?
2. Who is the target audience for this app?
3. How do competitors approach foldable device compatibility?

Step 2. App Conceptualization

This step lays the foundation for a compelling and user-centric mobile app concept. By defining the app’s unique selling point (USP) based on its compatibility with the foldable device and identifying features to leverage the larger screen and multitasking capabilities. 

After this, you can create a business model canvas that provides a visual framework for analyzing your product concept. 

Step 3. Signing NDA 

It is important to make sure that you sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) with your chosen mobile app development agency. This step safeguards your app idea and sensitive information. The legal agreement ensures that the agency will keep your project details confidential and won’t share or use them without your consent. 

Step 4.App Wireframe 

The next step includes creating a visual blueprint or skeletal framework of your app’s user interface (UI). 

Wireframes typically include basic elements such as navigation menus, buttons, forms, and content placeholders. This focuses on the arrangement of these elements and the overall flow of the app, rather than detailed design elements.

Step 5. UI/UX for Foldable App

In the UI/UX design phase, crafting a user-centric interface enhances the overall experience of the app user. Ensuring feature richness while maintaining user-friendliness is important. Also, leverage larger screens for enhanced multitasking and intuitive navigation. 

Step 6. App Development 

In the app development stage, skilled developers code the UI/UX design into functional mobile apps for foldable devices. The implementation of the unique features and optimizations ensures smooth transitions between screen states.

Step 7. Testing 

Conducting thorough testing on real foldable devices helps identify any design inconsistencies or usability issues which eventually refine the UI. This guarantees a visually appealing, functionally robust, and premium foldable device user experience. 

Step 8. Deployment and Maintenance 

After development and testing, the app is deployed to various platforms and is ready to download and use. However, the process doesn’t end here. Continuous observation and maintenance ensure the app’s functionality and security. 

With the comprehensive guide on developing mobile apps for foldable devices at your disposal, it’s time to unveil the estimated cost to develop the app. 

What is the Cost of Building Mobile Apps for Foldable Devices?

Determining the cost of developing mobile apps for foldable devices is essential for effective budgeting. Generally, developing mobile apps for foldable devices might involve higher costs due to the unique design consideration.

Time and Cost Estimation for Developing Foldable Device App 

App Type Time Frame (Weeks) Cost Estimation
Simple 7-8 $25,000-$30,000
Average 10-12 $40,000-$50,000
Complex 16-18 $70,000-$80,000

Remember, seeking guidance from esteemed app development firms such as Apptunix can offer precise cost evaluations tailored to your project’s unique requirements. 

Prioritizing excellence sets the stage for a successful venture in the dynamic realm of mobile app development.

app development.

How can Apptunix Guide You?

Foldable smartphones are attractive due to their ability to offer larger screens in a compact package. While their adoption will grow gradually, according to Counterpoint Research’s global foldable smartphone shipments are expected to surge by 52% YoY in FY 2023, reaching a significant 22.7 million units.

With this, developing apps for foldable smartphones presents challenges. If you decide to create an app for such devices, Apptunix is your beacon of support in the world of foldable smartphone app development. We’ll guide you in crafting an app that seamlessly adapts to the dual screen states and maintains screen continuity. With a robust grasp of the varied use cases, we ensure your app resonates with user needs.

Apptunix’s seasoned professionals bring a wealth of experience to the table, ensuring your dream app materializes flawlessly. Count on us to harness foldable technology’s potential, creating an app that captivates users and carves a niche in this burgeoning market. 

Your app journey finds its ally in Apptunix’s dedication and prowess.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q 1.What are foldable smartphones?

Foldable smartphones are devices with flexible screens that can be folded and unfolded, offering both compactness and a larger display.

Q 2.How does the new screen ratio of foldable devices impact app development?

The new screen ratio challenges traditional design concepts, requiring adaptability for different screen states and optimized layouts for better engagement. 

een ratio of foldable d

Q 3.How much time and cost are typically involved in developing an app for foldable smartphones?

The time and cost of developing an app for foldable smartphones vary from $25,000-$30,000 for a simple app with basic features. However, a more complex app with advanced features will cost up to $70,000-$80,000.  

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