Google Pixel Fold screen continuity feature may see a comeback

Google Pixel Fold screen continuity feature may see a comeback
Google Pixel Fold users may be getting back a handy feature that made a brief appearance in a beta build and is now resurfacing on Android 15. Currently, when the Pixel Fold goes from an unfolded to a folder state, the outer screen shuts off (except for specific scenarios like video playback or navigation via Google Maps). However, although it was initially spotted in the code, new screenshots are now available showing that you may soon be able to continue with business as usual when folding the device. 

Google initially attempted to solve this issue in an early Android 14 QPR1 beta build by introducing a setting called "Continue using apps on fold." This setting provided options to keep the outer screen on always, never, or only for apps like games or videos. Unfortunately, that setting was removed and didn't appear in later releases.

However, in the code for Android 14 QPR3 Beta 1, Android expert Mishaal Rahman found a hint at a potential return of this feature, but under the new name "Swipe up to continue." The feature continues to be there on the Developer Preview of Android 15, suggesting that users may get a dedicated gesture to enable app continuity between the main and outer displays seamlessly.

Currently, on Android 15 Developer Preview 1, the "continue using apps on fold" setting offers the below choices:
  • Always: Outer screen turns on every time you fold the device.
  • Only games, videos, and more: Outer screen turns on for apps that are designed to typically remain active (games, video players).
  • Never: Outer screen locks every time you fold the device.

These options differ from the old setting found in Android 14 QPR by adding the condition to "swipe up to continue," instead of just immediately resuming the app on the outer screen. This means that, should this become final, Pixel Fold users should be able to continue using most apps on the outer screen just by swiping up on the lock screen after closing the device and effectively eliminate the need to reopen the foldable to check other apps like calendars, notes, etc. This same functionality is found in the OnePlus Open.

As a Pixel Fold user myself, this is one feature that I sorely missed from experimenting with the QPR betas and I couldn't understand why Google would remove it. Now that the feature has been tweaked somewhat, this would indicate that there were issues with the initial implementation and Google was working all along on a better way to bring us much needed screen continuity.

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