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You can now force apps to go fullscreen on your Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet

The latest December 2023 Pixel Feature Drop includes the ability to force an aspect ratio override on a per-app basis.
By
December 7, 2023
google pixel fold inner display homescreen 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The latest December 2023 Pixel Feature Drop introduces a per-app aspect ratio override feature on the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet.
  • This setting forces individual apps to go fullscreen, though it has the potential to break certain apps.
  • The feature is part of the core Android OS and will be available across all large-screen devices like foldables and tablets with Android 15.

The Google Pixel Fold and the Google Pixel Tablet are Google’s most recent large-screen devices that go beyond the traditional phone form factor. With the latest December 2023 Pixel Feature Drop, Google has finally added the ability to override the aspect ratio of apps per app, letting you use apps fullscreen even if they don’t properly support a large display.

As confirmed by Mishaal Rahman, the latest Android 14 QPR1 update (that is reaching Pixel devices in the form of December 2023’s Pixel Feature Drop) brings a per-app aspect ratio override feature to the Pixel Fold and the Pixel Tablet.

This aspect ratio override feature is part of the Android OS now, and it will be available on all large-screen devices (tablets and foldables) in Android 15 unless the OEM decides to remove it.

With the aspect ratio override, you can force apps to go fullscreen. This will eliminate the letterboxed look you would have otherwise gotten with the app presenting itself in a phone-like portrait orientation. The override won’t magically induce a tablet-optimized two-pane layout; it will simply stretch the app edge-to-edge. The end result is that you will still have a mobile app that fits better on your larger display but does not offer you a meaningful change in information density. Some apps will break, though, so tread cautiously.

The Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet mark Google’s return to the large-screen space (excluding smart displays that don’t run third-party apps). This allows the company to finally see the state of disrepair that the app market had fallen into when it comes to large-screen device support. With the decline in tablets, apps have centered their experiences around the smartphone and have largely refused to scale up, leaving a lot of wasted screen real estate on tablets and foldables. An aspect ratio override feature isn’t the perfect solution, but it’s better than nothing. We hope more apps optimize their experiences for tablets and foldables.