Android display

This section covers AOSP implementation of various Android display settings, including app shortcuts, circular launcher icons, do not disturb (DND), multi-window (split-screen, free-form, and picture-in-picture), high dynamic range (HDR) video, night light, and retail demo mode. See the subpages of this section for details.

Adaptive Icons

Adaptive Icons maintain a consistent shape intra-device but vary from device to device with only one icon asset provided by the developer. Additionally, icons support two layers (foreground and background) that can be used for motion to provide visual delight to users.

App shortcuts

The Android 7.1.1 release allows developers to define action-specific shortcuts in their apps that can be displayed in a launcher. These app shortcuts let users quickly start common or recommended tasks within an app.

Block untrusted touches

To preserve system security and for a good user experience, Android 12 adds support to prevent overlay abuse, specifically by making changes in the window manager and input dispatcher area. Android 12 prevents apps from consuming touch events where an overlay obscures the app in an unsafe way. In other words, the system blocks touches that pass through certain windows, with a few exceptions.

Circular icons

Circular launcher icons are supported in Android 7.1.1 and later. Circular launcher icons are not enabled by default. To use circular icons in your device implementation, you must edit the resource overlay on your device to enable them.

Color management

Android 8.1 adds support for color management that can be used to provide a consistent experience across display technologies. Applications running on Android 8.1 can access the full capabilities of a wide gamut display to get the most out of a display device.

Conversation notifications and widgets

Android 11 adds support for customizing the behavior and placement of Conversation Notifications on the Notifications shade by priority and alerting level, allowing Conversations to be marked as Important and conversation specific bubbles to be launched in the Conversation space. Building on these Android 11 features, the Android 12 Conversation Widget feature enables users to add Conversation widgets for important contacts to the home screen, allowing them to easily resume conversations without waiting for a notification.

Display cutouts

Android 9 adds support for implementing different types of display cutouts on devices. Display cutouts allow you to create immersive, edge-to-edge experiences while still allowing space for important sensors on the front of devices.

Do not disturb

Android 7.0 supports do not disturb (DND) configurations for third-party automatic rules, controlling alarms, suppressing visual distractions, and customizing DND settings.

HDR video playback

High dynamic range (HDR) video is the next frontier in high-quality video decoding, bringing unmatched scene reproduction qualities. Android 7.0 gained initial HDR support, which includes the creation of proper constants for the discovery and setup of HDR video pipelines.


Android 10 enables multi-screen and foldable handheld devices, utilization of external displays, and other form-factors. Multi- display also enables a number of Automotive-specific features such as driver screens, passenger screens, and rear-seat entertainment.


In Android 7.0 and later, users can have multiple apps simultaneously displayed on their device screen with the new platform feature, multi-window. In addition to the default implementation of multi-window, Android also supports a few varieties of multi-window.

Night light

Android 7.1.1 includes a feature called Night Light that reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the device display to better match the natural light of the user's time of day and location. Android 8.0 includes a feature that gives users more control over the intensity of the Night Light effect.


Android 8.0 includes support for picture-in-picture (PIP) for Android handheld devices. PIP allows users to resize an app with an ongoing activity into a small window.

Retail demo mode

Android 7.1.1 and later offer system-level support for retail mode so users can readily examine the devices in action. Android 8.1 revises this support to create demo users via Device Policy Manager.

Rotate suggestions

In Android 8.0, users could toggle between auto-rotate and portrait rotation modes using a Quicksettings tile or Display settings. Android 9 updated portrait rotation mode to eliminate unintentional rotations by pinning the current screen rotation even if the device position changes.

Split-screen interactions

In Android 7.0 and later, users can have multiple apps simultaneously displayed on their device screen with the platform feature multi-window. Android 8.0 improves split-screen by refining the feature and adding more functionality to it.

Synchronized app transitions

Synchronized App Transitions is a feature in Android 9 that enhances the existing app transition architecture. When a user opens, closes, or switches between apps, the SystemUI or Launcher (homescreen) process sends a request to control the animation frame-by-frame with guaranteed synchronization between view animations and window animations.

Text classification

Text classification uses machine learning techniques to help developers classify text. Android 9 extended the text classification framework introduced in Android 8.1 with the new Text Classifier service. The Text Classifier service is the recommended way for OEMs to provide text classification system support.

Widgets and shortcuts

The flow API for adding shortcuts and widgets in Android 8.0 allows application developers to add shortcuts and widgets from inside the app instead of relying on the widget tray. It also deprecates the old method (sending a broadcast) of adding shortcuts for security reasons.

Window blurs

In Android 12 public APIs are available for implementing window-blur effects (such as background blur and blur behind). With these APIs, you can blur whatever is behind your own window. You can create windows with blurred backgrounds, creating a frosted glass effect, or show windows with the entire screen behind them blurred, creating a depth of field effect. You can also combine the two effects.

Window Magnifier

In Android 12 low-vision users can easily magnify anything on their display in a manner that adapts to their changing needs by using the window magnification feature. Window magnification lets you magnify a selected part of the screen, unlike using a zoom function on an entire screen. The selected window can be dragged throughout the display, which enables you to magnify different parts of the screen as needed.