Information is starting to trickle out about how Microsoft’s Surface Duo — the Android-powered, dual-screen device that marks the tech giant’s return to the smartphone market — will work when it is released in the 2020 holiday season.
Yesterday, Microsoft published a software kit to help developers build apps for Duo and previewed plans to release similar tools for its other new dual-screen device, Surface Neo. Several observers hopped on the new developer tools and gave the world a first look at browsing on the device.
In context – this feels even more magical. pic.twitter.com/8yLLoioE1K
— Jonas Daehnert (@PhoneDesigner) January 22, 2020
Here’s a quick look at some of the (unfinished) navigation gestures that are part of the Surface Duo. This build is pretty buggy, but still interesting to see. pic.twitter.com/Jra1xVfZl2
— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) January 22, 2020
Apps on Surface Duo will occupy a single screen by default, Microsoft said. But users can also expand apps to cover both screens.
Microsoft is challenging developers to be creative in building around the dual-screen concept. The tech giant showed several examples, including using both screens as an extended canvas, showing two documents at the same time and using one screen to display a master part of the app, with the second screen acting as a companion with greater detail.
More Surface Duo details could emerge early next month when Microsoft holds a developer webcast centered on dual-screen devices. That same day, Feb. 11, Microsoft said it will release a Windows Emulator, new tools, documentation and code samples for Windows 10X, the operating system that will power the Surface Neo dual-screen hybrid tablet-laptop device.