In a few weeks, both Surface Duo models could get Android 12L with a Windows 11-based skin

According Windows Central, Microsoft is just weeks away from releasing an update for the Surface Duo 1 and Surface Duo 2. Dual-screen devices are expected to receive Android 12L, a special version of the operating system designed for large screens and foldable handsets.

Surface Duo 1 and 2 will soon receive Android 12L with a Windows 11 skin

Although the Surface Duo phones are not foldable, the first generation model has a pair of 5.6-inch AMOLED displays with a resolution of 1350 x 1800. When the device is opened, it creates a screen of the size of an 8.1-inch tablet with an 1800 x 2700 resolution (but with a hinge in the middle). The Surface Duo 2 comes with a pair of 5.8-inch displays with a resolution of 1344 x 1892. When open, both displays offer an 8.3-inch tablet-sized canvas with 1892 x 2688 resolution that users can work on.

The Android 12L update for both Surface Duo models will include a Windows 11-based skin that will use Microsoft’s “Fluent Design System”. The latter will influence features like the Microsoft Launcher activity stream, notification shade, and settings app. The report says that expect more effects, blurry surfaces, and smoother animation when gestures are used to open and close apps.

This will be the first time that Microsoft has used its “Fluent Design” on Android. As a general rule, Microsoft defers to Google’s “Material Design” when it comes to Android. But with Android 12L update, you will see things like toggles, buttons and notifications are created using “Fluent Design”.

It seems that Microsoft not only wants Surface Duo phones to deliver a great Android experience, but also wants consumers to see the device as a mobile extension of their Windows PC; this is a smart move on the part of the company that could boost sales. Android’s quick settings area in the notification area resembles the quick settings panel in Windows 11. The settings app will feature Windows 11-style icons for individual categories.

The Surface Slim Pen 2 gets a new “Pen Menu” interface similar to Windows 11’s Pen Menu. It will show the pen’s remaining battery life and add shortcuts for all apps installed on the device. And with Android 12L, Surface Duo users will be able to use Google’s Android wallpaper theme which changes the icon colors and accent colors used on Android to match the dominant wallpaper color chosen by the user. ‘user.

One Android 12L feature that’s available for foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 but won’t appear on Surface Duo models is the taskbar interface.

Microsoft wants to market the Surface Duo as an extension of your Windows PC

Windows Central notes that the update is in final testing and could be released late this month (October) or early next month (November). Last month (as long as we specify months here, that would be September), Microsoft denied reports that it was discontinuing the Surface Duo and discontinuing the product. In fact, if the company promotes the device as an extension of your PC, we might see that helping boost sales.
While Microsoft fixed a lot of issues with the Surface Duo 2, starting at $1,500 it’s still an expensive investment. Still, Microsoft sold units, and Best Buy also dismantled the kiosks it had built for the phone in its stores. There has been speculation that the Surface Duo 3 will be a true foldable modeled after the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Microsoft is hosting its next Surface event this Tuesday, October 11, and we’re not expecting to see the Surface Duo 3 unveiled. Of course, that doesn’t mean Microsoft won’t give us a preview of the device like it did with the original Surface Duo in 2019, 11 months before the phone’s final release.