Microsoft starts rolling out developer tools for its dual-screen Surface Duo Android phone

Microsoft is starting to roll out developer kits and emulators for both Android and 10X developers who want to build for coming dual-screen devices, starting with its own.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is starting to make tools available to developers for coming dual-screen mobile devices. Today, January 22, it is rolling out a preview of the software developer kit (SDK) for the Microsoft Surface Duo dual-screen Android phone. And it is making available new web standards proposals for developing for both the Duo and the Windows 10X-based Surface Neo.

"In the coming weeks," Microsoft also is going to make available a preview SDK for Windows for dual-screen devices, meaning Windows 10X, according to its blog post announcing the new dev tools. This will come via the standard Insider builds, officials said.

Microsoft's goal is to deliver the dual-screen Hyper-V emulator for Windows 10X dual-screen devices on February 11, along with new interfaces for dual-screen support, documentation and code samples. This SDK will include native Windows APIs along with the emulator that will support both Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Win32 apps.

The immediately available preview SDK for the Duo includes access to documentation and samples for best practices, UX design information and more. It includes native Java application programming interfaces for dual-screen Duo development and an Android emulator with a preview of the Surface Duo image.

To use the Duo preview SDK, developers need the Android Studio and Android Emulator. For the 10X SDK, users will need a recent Windows 10 Insider preview build of 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education on a 4-core deviced with Hyper-V enabled. Microsoft also is doing more work on  its new Edge browser so that it will support dual-screen 10X and Android devices.

More details on how the previews work and Microsoft's goals with its new dual-screen design can be found in its documentation for dual-screen devices here.

Microsoft is holding a virtual event, Microsoft 365 Developer Day: Feb 11 starting at 11:30 a.m. ET, where officials will focus on dual-screen experiences (including SDKs, emulators, languages and tools).

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