Microsoft releases preview SDK for its Surface Duo dual-screen Android phone

Joanna Estrada
January 23, 2020

Microsoft released a preview SDK for the Surface Duo and discussed upcoming previews for Windows 10X. The first "patterns" for apps include extended canvas, which puts an app across both screen; master-detail, which has a portion of one display highlighted on the other; a two-page view, like a book; dual view, to show different applications or views; and a "companion pane", which can surface buried options on the second screen.

Native Java APIs to support dual-screen development for the Surface Duo device, including the DisplayMask API, Hinge Angle Sensor, and new device capabilities. By simulating postures, gestures, hinge angles and even mimicking the seam between the two devices, the emulator gets you the next best thing to an actual dual-screen device to test on. Indeed, the company also announced new web standards for dual-screen layouts that web developers could implement for websites and PWAs running on both Android and Windows 10X devices.

Requirements: For the Android Studio and Android Emulator.

"The preview SDK gives developers a first look at how you can take advantage of dual-screen experiences", explained Kevin Gallo, CVP of Windows Developer Platform.

The objective of this release is to show developers how their apps and websites will appear on dual-screen interfaces on both Android and Windows 10X.

Requirements: A recent Windows Insiders preview build of 64-bit Windows 10 (Pro, Enterprise, or Education), 64bit CPU with 4 cores, 8GB minimum (16GB of RAM recommended), Hyper-V enabled and dedicated GPU that supports Direct X 11.0 or later.

If Microsoft will be pushing app developers to optimize their Android and Windows 10 apps for dual-screen devices, the software giant isn't forgetting about web apps.

Both the Surface Duo and Surface Neo are expected to launch by the holidays, though we expect to learn a lot more about Windows 10X and dual-screen software at Microsoft's Build developer conference in May.

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