Surface Duo Android phone may use Microsoft Launcher

Surface Duo calling

Microsoft shocked the tech world by
announcing Surface Duo, an Android-powered Surface Phone in
2019. Microsoft is partnering with Google to optimize Android
for dual-screen Surface Duo hardware, and the company is also
working on a series of APIs to help developers ready their apps
for new form-factor.

Unlike Samsung Galaxy Fold, Microsoft’s Surface Duo does not
come with a bendable OLED display, but rather two displays
mounted using a very visible hinge in the middle.

Today,
Microsoft released the first public preview of a new Microsoft
Launcher that gives us an early look at Surface Duo’s
software features. Microsoft Launcher version 6.0 reportedly
includes experience that will be offered on the Surface Duo.

Microsoft Launcher version 6.0 has been built on a new codebase
and the new codebase includes references to ‘Duo’.
Additionally, the update allows the launcher to rotate into
landscape mode.

Microsoft Launcher landscape

These changes suggest that Microsoft may use this new preview
version to test the Android app Launcher for Surface Duo-like
phones.

Surface Duo is arriving in late 2020

Surface Duo is undoubtedly exciting and it also supports
calling. With Microsoft Launcher, the company could also enable
deeper integration with its own services like Windows Timeline,
Windows notifications and more.

Surface Duo is a new category of device with new design ethos
and it appears to have two 5.6-inch displays mounted together.
When unfolded or opened, Surface Duo has a single 11-inch
screen and users can run multiple apps on both displays.

The Android-powered Surface phone supports split-screen,
drag-and-drop, and it will also integrate with Windows
products.

During the Surface hardware event in New York, Microsoft’s
Panos Panay called out that the Surface Duo is not a typical
smartphone and it will still fit in your bag. According to
Microsoft, Surface Duo won’t ship until holiday 2020 and it is
more than eleven months away.

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