A visitor looks at a Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone at a showroom in Seoul on September 6. Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je

Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday that it had collaborated with Google, app partners and Android developers to provide apps that fit its recently launched first foldable smartphone, Galaxy Fold.

“Efforts to design this software experience for the Galaxy Fold began at the framework level in April 2018,” Samsung said in a press release. “Samsung developed a whole new UX [user experience] and collaborated closely with Google to provide integrated OS support from Android.”

According to the press release, Samsung and Google set up test labs in cities across the globe – from Seoul to Mountain View to Beijing – to test apps for the foldable phone since Samsung introduced the foldable Infinity Flex Display, which is used for Galaxy Fold. Besides, Google changed its Android 10 operating system to optimize it for the foldable device.

Samsung launched GalaxiyFold last week in South Korea with the hefty price tag of 2,398,000 won (US$2,002). It offers a 4.6-inch cover display and 7.3-inch display when unfolded. It also has a “Multi-Active-Window” for stronger multitasking, with the 7.2-inch screen divided into two or three parts.

Samsung said the change in Android 10 offers “improved resizable activity, multi-resume functionality, and updated Android Emulator to help support multiple-display type switching.“

Samsung has also worked with app partners such as Amazon Prime Video, App in the Air, Facebook, Microsoft Twitter, and Spotify to optimize their apps for the Galaxy Fold.

“We didn’t just build new category-defining hardware, we worked with major partners to design and deliver a brand-new mobile experience and foster an ecosystem that gives users access to the best applications and services,” said ES Chung, Samsung’s Head of Software and AI, Mobile Communications Business.

Sagar Kamble, Director of Product Management for Android at Google, said in the Samsung press release, “Together with ecosystem partners like Samsung, we have the opportunity to deliver an entirely new user experience that could transform the way we use our smartphones.”

Samsung’s rival Huawei, blacklisted by the US government, also plans to release a foldable phone, called the Mate X, but Samsung took the lead as Huawei has not announced its schedule.

Unlike Samsung with its software support from Google, Huawei will launch the Mate 30 without key Google apps such as Gmail, Maps, and YouTube due to sanctions imposed by Washington, creating a disadvantage in competition.

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