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29 March 2017

Update your app to take advantage of the larger aspect ratio on new Android flagship devices

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Posted by Neto Marin, Developer Advocate, Google Play

To deliver more engaging viewing experiences to their users, many Android OEMs are experimenting with new, super widescreen smartphones. Samsung has just announced a new flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S8, featuring a new display format with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. At the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, Xiaomi and LG also launched their new flagship devices, the Mi Mix (launched October 2016) and the LG G6 respectively, with an expanded screen aspect ratio of 18:9.
(Left) An app with a maximum aspect ratio set at 16:9 on an 18.5:9 device 
(Right) An app with a maximum aspect ratio set at or over 18.5:9 on an 18.5:9 device

In order to take full advantage of the larger display formats on these devices, you should consider increasing your app's maximum supported aspect ratio. To do so, simply declare an android.max_aspect <meta-data> element in the app's <application> element:

<meta-data android:name="android.max_aspect"
Where ratio_float is the maximum aspect ratio your app can support, expressed as (longer dimension / shorter dimension) in decimal form.

We recommend that you design your app to support aspect ratios of 2.1 or higher. For this, you would add the following to the <application> element:

<meta-data android:name="android.max_aspect" android:value="2.1" />
Note: if you don't set a value, and android:resizeableActivity is not true, then the maximum aspect ratio defaults to 1.86 (roughly 16:9) and your app will not take advantage of the extra screen space.

As more super widescreen Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Mi Mix, and the LG G6 become available, you'll have more opportunities to display more content and create more engaging experiences with your app.

For more details about how to support multiple screens on Android, please visit the page Supporting Multiple Screens.