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Trends

Flex Your Way Through 2022 With Foldable-Responsive Mobile Apps

Posted by: Nikki Tabberrah

August 12, 2022

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Foldables are in. So are candybar smartphones out? Not quite. But this tech trend is giving the smartphone market a run for its money. Tech giants along with key players are now literally bending over backwards to excite consumers with a more refined and sophisticated line of foldable smartphones.

Foldables were first introduced to the world when Royole Corporation released  Royole FlexPai in 2018. Seemingly mind-blowing, but with underwhelming features on its first release it gained little traction. That same year, Samsung presented their newest tech concept called Infinity Flex Display which was integrated into earlier models and started underpinning a whole new generation of smartphones. 

It wasn’t until recently that consumers became more receptive to new form factors. This urged manufacturers to go full speed to deliver unique compact devices with top-of-the-line performances.  With the recent success of Samsung flagships such as Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z flip, data shows that worldwide shipments of foldable phones achieved a 264% increase from 2020. Moreover, the forecast shows that foldable phone shipments will reach 27.6 million units in 2025 worldwide, with a compounding annual growth rate of 69.9% just within a five-year span. 

Samsung Foldables

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, $1,049 | Shop Here

Despite its small market share, foldable devices remain a promising commodity for vendors as consumers are starting to seek out-of-the-box experiences that fit modern lifestyles and user behaviors. In this case, foldable smartphones definitely fit the bill. Bringing a fresh new twist to an everyday user’s mobile experience, these new breeds of devices combine the portability of a typical bar smartphone with the capabilities of a high-end tablet topped with a host of impressive features. They indulge users with a more fluid on-screen experience and can make mobile content consumption more immersive than ever before.
 

Imagine watching the Oscars on your mobile, and just when Chris and Will’s jaw-dropping moment hit the stage, you’re able to switch to a wider display with a quick unfold. Immersing you further into the aftermath of the famous G.I. Jane moment. And just when Smith started screaming, you’re able to share this viral moment with your friends without taking you out of the show because of its improved multi-tasking capabilities. Some smartphones have multitasking features for sure but lack the fluidity these new devices can provide.

Aside from tech manufacturers, brands in the mobile app space can also take advantage of this grand rising in various ways through:

Opportunities for Mobile App Brands

Maximizing  App Continuity Capabilities

Mobile apps that are optimized for foldable devices can engage with their users at every imaginable display. Users can be free of any clunky UI/UX brought about by any incompatibility or unresponsiveness which could lead to bad user experiences. 

The app continuity feature allows users to gracefully transition from one screen to another when the user folds and unfolds their device. When transitioning, these new gadgets don’t require any active app to be manually re-opened once again so users can simply pick up where they left off regardless of the screen size they prefer at a particular moment. 

Foldable gadgets may fold in various ways – inwards, where the screen folds into the phone’s interior, outwards, where the display wraps around the device or a clamshell fold where the device can fold into one compact piece. Because of the rich assortment of folding potential, brands along with their app partners should keep their eyes peeled for new releases so they can tweak their apps accordingly while taking into account any hardware-specific limitations.

Leveraging Wider Display Capabilities

A wider display would mean more space for richer content and expanded multitasking experiences. Apps in the gaming, video streaming, fitness, productivity, ed-tech and social networking space can take advantage of this extra space by deploying more immersive content or enabling expanded controls when the device is unfolded.

From a sales point of view, app owners can also use expanded displays to launch in-app advertisements in a less intrusive way. Allowing a more tasteful way of highlighting ad partners on free app versions or promoting your own.  Foldable phones also boast great multi-window features that can run multiple active apps at one time. So making your app resizable is essential to ride on this benefit so users can engage with all their favorite apps (including yours) without much disruption. 

Play With Posture

Foldable devices with a horizontal hinge can accommodate half-opened postures that resemble the operating posture of a typical laptop. Productivity and learning apps that feature typing functions can benefit the most from this development. This can allow digital nomads to accomplish work on the go or make last-minute changes in their presentations while commuting without having to take out their full-sized laptops in transit.

Need For Speed

Newer devices are now being designed for 5G connectivity, including these flagship foldables. And as devices become more well-connected than ever, mobile apps should also start updating their builds to match new connectivity capabilities. 5G-optimized apps have an advantage over existing applications as it allows for more advanced functionalities and way smoother performance with very low latency.  

Regardless of how you use these developments to your advantage, all efforts are designed to pique the interest of modern consumers. While giving them the best service possible in every way, shape or form. 

 

Related read: Outdated Mobile App Features You Should Be Upgrading This Year 

Rumor Has It

Tim Cook CEO of Apple
 As more and more brands dip their toes into this trend, rumor has it that Apple is on its way to taking its fair share of the foldable tech market but not until 2023 according to data analysts. Exciting as it is, no one is really sure until they launch one in their next keynote presentation. At the moment, foldable app updates can only be developed for non-iOS platforms. So should you still be thinking about these updates right now? Definitely. 

These current flagship devices work with Android and it’s not something to be underestimated. Android maintains its position as the leading mobile operating system worldwide, controlling a market share of close to 70%. That’s a significant consideration when it comes to deciding whether it’s worth it to invest in necessary updates for your digital products. 

More than this massive opportunity, being at the forefront of tech trends can give your brand the competitive edge it needs to thrive in this highly-competitive market. It can improve brand reputation, strengthen brand affinity and can attract a whole new generation of users to your mobile app. 

If this is something you’re interested in, look no further and talk to our awesome developers today so you can take advantage of this emerging trend. Contact us here

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