Microsoft is bringing dual-screen emulation to Chromium

Surface Duo phone
Image Courtesy: TechRepublic

Microsoft is working on a new feature called ‘dual-screen
emulation’ for the Chromium platform. The feature is primarily
aimed at developers optimizing websites for devices with
multiple screens. It will also allow users to preview their
favourite websites on dual-screen hardware in a side-by-side

The feature is currently behind an experimental flag and it has
been marked as ‘active’ on the Chromium

Microsoft says it’s adding emulation support for two
dual-screen devices—Surface Duo and Samsung Galaxy Fold 2. With
the emulation feature, developers and even users can preview
websites on a dual-screen device. This allows a web publisher
to optimize their site to run better on new form factors.

The dual-screen emulation currently supports the following

  • Device orientation spec is extended to include dual-screen
  • Horizontal spanned and vertical spanned.
  • Device may have a hinge in dual screen mode, which is shown
    if provided.

Surface Duo web emulation

“Emulation bar has an extra button to span: extending the
device view from a single screen to dual screen,” Microsoft
noted. There are new icons, rotation, and other emulation
related functions work fine with the presence of a hinge.

In 2019,
Microsoft’s Edge team also proposed a new API that aims to
help developers improve web experiences for Surface Duo, Galaxy
Fold and other dual-screen hardware.

One API named “Window Segments Enumeration” would allow devs to
enumerate segments and sites will be able to take advantage of
the multiple displays when available.

For example, a map web application would showcase the map on
one screen, while the second screen would display search
results. Mailing apps such as Outlook will display a list of
emails in one segment and selected emails in the other.

Last year, Microsoft also showcased Surface Duo and Surface Neo
dual-screen hardware and their plans to support the existing
applications. While the Surface Neo has been delayed,
Surface Duo is likely to launch in the second half of 2020.

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