Microsoft isn’t the biggest name in the smartphone market, but last year, the company tried its hand at a high-end dual-screen phone ‘Surface Duo’ with a customized Android experience.
Surface Duo may have only been released less than a year ago, but it appears the company is already prepping an updated model, according to sources familiar with the development.
Surface Duo 2 is apparently in development since the second half of 2020 and it is scheduled to launch in the fall of this year, though Microsoft’s plans are always subject to change. Beyond hardware (faster processor, 5G and improved camera), the software appears to be the primary focus of the Surface Duo 2.
Reviews of the Surface Duo commended design, display, and hinge, but software issues ruined the product. According to sources, this new Duo will put “special emphasis” on fixing and improving the software, which includes the camera app.
In addition to these quality improvements, Microsoft is slowly adding more engineers to the team behind Surface Duo 2. According to multiple job listings seen by us, Microsoft wants to “deliver a mobile user experience” that brings the best of Microsoft to the Android ecosystem.
In fact, the company is directly contributing to the development of Android. For example, Microsoft has been testing a new “Obscured Regions” API that will add information about regions of the display that has been obscured by other tasks or system UI.
“The API will allow the developer to re-flow the experience into the visible regions. For example, a Launcher might animate its bottom drawer to the un-obscured are to allow the user to launch another application,” Microsoft noted.
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Microsoft is also working on other Surface products. The tech giant is planning to launch Surface Laptop 4 in April and Surface Pro 8 in October/November.