The wait is finally over for the owners of the original Surface Duo. More than a year since the launch, the first-gen dual-screen smartphone from Microsoft received the long-promised Android 11 update.
Android 11 for Surface Duo arrived as a part of January 2021 firmware update. Microsoft skipped firmware updates in December 2020, and now we know why. The update requires approximately 2.4 GB of free storage on your device, and it is currently available only on unlocked devices. AT&T version of the original Surface Duo should get the same update a little later.
What is new in Android 11 for the original Surface Duo?
Here is the official changelog from Microsoft:
- Upgrades the Android operating system to Android 11. For more information about Android 11, see Android 11.
- Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin—January 2022.
- 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.
- Send feedback to Microsoft by opening Settings, then tap About, then tap Give feedback to Microsoft.
Android 11 is no longer the newest version of Android. Android 12 is now available for select devices, but it appears that Microsoft does not plan to release this version for its dual-screen smartphones. Instead, as rumors claim, Microsoft will focus on Android 12L, a special SKU for foldable and dual-screen devices, such as Surface Duo, Galaxy Z Fold, etc.
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