Microsoft Surface Duo starts receiving its first OS upgrade, but it is another disappointment for the unloved foldable
Microsoft has finally started issuing the first OS upgrade to the Surface Duo, a device that it launched in October 2020. The Surface Duo arrived with Android 10, despite being released after Android 11 arrived, with bugs aplenty. Initially, Microsoft promised Android 11 for the Surface Duo by summer 2021, which it failed spectacularly. Incidentally, the Surface Duo 2 has since started shipping with Android 11.
According to Microsoft, Android 11 is available on the Surface Duo in Europe and North America, but only on unlocked handsets. For some reason, Android 11 is not ready for locked or unlocked AT&T handsets. Instead, Microsoft states that 'we are testing this release and it is pending final validation'. Microsoft does not mention any timings for delivering an Android 12 update either. Reputedly, Microsoft hopes to bring Android 12L to the Surface Duo, though.
Android 11 arrives for the Surface Duo as 2021.1027.156. In Microsoft's changelog, it confirms that 2021.1027.156 also upgrades the Surface Duo to the January 2022 security patch. You can read more about this month's security patch in the latest Android Security Bulletin. Additionally, Microsoft has introduced several Surface Duo-specific features. These features are as follows:
- Enabled launching of OneNote when clicking the top button on Surface Slim Pen 2. It requires Surface Slim Pen 2 to be paired with Surface Duo.
- Enabled in Surface Duo features, in Settings, to choose preference for answering phone calls when folded.
- Enabled in Surface Duo features, in Settings, to choose specific apps to automatically span across both screens when you open them.
- Optimized Quick Settings and notification width for portrait and landscape orientations.
- Adjust media volume directly from Quick Settings in any device mode.
- Use thumb mode in Microsoft SwiftKey now with all device modes and application states.
- Updated app drawer and folder design with improved drag-and-drop support.
- Refreshed Microsoft feed design with updated cards and new Microsoft Start widgets for News and Weather.
- Photos by OneDrive: New dual-screen enhanced experience for viewing and editing photos in the OneDrive app.
- Xbox Game Pass: Discovery and play games from the cloud with an on-screen controller. Some devices, accessories, and software sold separately. Additional fees and/or subscriptions required for some apps and features.