It’s about a week since the unlocked Surface Duo went on sale. As you should know, it’s the customized version of Microsoft’s first dual-screen Android phone. The phone is also available through AT&T stores. Today, onMSFT reported that the phone had begun receiving Android 11 system updates.
The update is 2.3GB in size and brings some new features to Surface Duo users. The list includes auto-span apps, a new Photos app in OneDrive, the ability to launch OneNote with the Surface Slim Pen 2’s top button, and more.
Here is the Surface Duo update changelog:
- Enabled launching OneNote when clicking the top button on the Surface Slim Pen 2. However, it requires the Surface Slim Pen 2 to be paired with the Surface Duo.
- Enabled in Surface Duo features, in Settings, to choose preference for answering phone calls when folded.
- Enable in Settings for Surface Duo features to select specific apps that automatically span two screens when both are turned on.
- Optimized quick settings and notification width for portrait and landscape.
- Adjust media volume directly from Quick Settings in any state.
- Thumb mode is available in Microsoft SwiftKey for all device modes and application states.
- Updated app drawer and folder design with improved drag and drop support.
- Updated Microsoft feed design, updated cards, and new Microsoft Start widgets for news and weather.
- A new dual-screen enhanced experience for viewing and editing photos in the OneDrive app.
The other day was the first time I wished I had a Surface Pen attached to my Surface Duo 2. I needed to sign some documents on the go and was forced to use my finger. It's just so hard for me to justify spending over $200 for the charging case and the pen..
— Shane Craig (@ScaryifLiteral) February 1, 2022
Now that Android 11 has been pushed out to the Surface Duo, the team can begin thinking about the Android 12L system. This version of Android is specifically aimed at dual-screen devices like the Surface Duo, but it doesn’t yet have an official release date. Although rumors suggest that Microsoft is leaning toward it instead of the regular Android 12. The update also means that the Surface Duo 2 and Duo 1 now use the same software and version of Android, which is good for consistency.
Users can first connect to Wi-Fi and check Android 11 on the Surface Duo. You can then go into settings, select System, and then System Updates. There, click Check for Updates, then Reboot now. The Surface Duo will download updates in the background and prompt you to restart.
We don’t think that in the near future Microsoft will make competition with the big names in the smartphone market. But Microsoft has always wished to design its own smartphones. In this sense, the Surface Duo can be attributed as the Redmond company’s dream that has come true.