Pixel Fold. As you might have assumed, this is a foldable device that folds inwards.
Rumored Pixel Fold strongly resembles the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Google is awarded a patent for an innovative hinge for the Pixel Fold
LetsGo Digital also reports about a patent awarded to Google on September 23rd by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The title of the patent is “Multi-axis soft hinge mechanism and foldable device having same” and it is designed to be used with an inward folding phone. With this hinge, when the phone is folded, only a small seam is created.
The patent states that “a hinge mechanism, in accordance with implementations described herein, maintains a desired contour or curvature of the foldable display portion in the folded configuration, and maintains a desired flatness of the foldable display portion in the unfolded configuration.”
The patent adds that the hinge mechanism prevents damage to the display caused by “excessive compression and/or tension exerted on components of the foldable display portion in response to folding and unfolding of the foldable device.”
So it sounds as though this new hinge will not only help to protect the screen from damage caused by the opening and closing of the device, but helps the display curve when the phone is closed, and stay flat when the handset is open.
The Pixel Fold could be released with Android 12.1 pre-installed. This build of Android is expected to include useful interface tools designed to work with foldable phones and tablets. This would include a taskbar showing the icons of frequently used and recently used apps and allow the user to quickly select two apps to be used with a split-screen mode. The taskbar would show five icons at one time.