Surface Duo is Microsoft’s first Android phone and it’s not a
secret that its first-generation dual-screen is plagued with
various issues. Surface Duo is still running Android 10 and an
outdated version of Microsoft Launcher. In fact, Microsoft
Launcher doesn’t even have features available on traditional
Microsoft is now working on a big update for Microsoft Launcher
and it could debut alongside Surface Duo 2, though the ETA has
Android 11 and Microsoft Launcher update was planned to go live
for the Surface Duo earlier this year, but more recently, the
release target has been changed to optimize the experience for
Surface Duo 2. The first-generation Duo will also receive the
same Launcher update and Android 11.
In a tweet, Microsoft’s program manager Vishnu Nath also
suggested that big
improvements are planned for Microsoft Launcher and more
details could be shared during the rumoured October 2021 event
for Surface Duo 2.
If it does turn out to be true, it’s a great move for
Microsoft, especially given the problems users experienced with
Surface Duo first-generation.
Surface Duo 2 arriving in October
As we recently reported, Surface Duo 2 is currently scheduled
to debut in October and photos showing the device were posted
online last month. Very little is known about Surface Duo, but
reports suggest the new dual-screen phone will be similar to
the first-generation hardware with additional improvements.
For example, Surface Duo’s camera setup will include a new
primary sensory, telephoto sensor and ultra-wide sensor. We’re
also expecting a new Qualcomm ship with 5G support and NFC.
As compared to the original Surface Duo, the second-generation
model will be significantly faster and Microsoft wants to
address all the shortcomings. For example, the default camera
app will be updated with new features to improve the camera
processing capabilities of the device.
As mentioned at the outset, Microsoft will retain the look of
the Surface Duo on the second-generation hardware which means
the same dual-screen and hinge experience will be offered.
Here are the expected features of Surface Duo 2:
- Snapdragon 888.
- Upgraded camera setup with camera module on both sides.
- Improved Microsoft Launcher and camera app.
Microsoft is also contributing to the development of Android to
better support dual-screen and foldable.
For instance, Microsoft is exploring support for multi-window
scenarios in ScreenshotTest.
“To support multi-window scenarios (foldables, in particular):
launch a secondary activity to fill the display, allow reported
bounds (App) to be smaller than screenshot (full display) and
compute ratio accordingly,” the company said.
As always, it’s important to take all of this with a pinch of
salt as plans are always subject to change.