Microsoft updates its emulator for its dual-screen Surface Duo device

Microsoft's dual-screen Windows-based Surface Neo is on hold, but the company is continuing to work on the dual-screen Android-based Duo.

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Credit: CNET

Microsoft officials recently said the company wouldn't be delivering its dual-screen Surface Neo device this holiday season as planned. But work on the Android-based dual-screen Surface Duo phone is continuing, full-steam ahead.

Microsoft began making available tools for developers interested in targeting the Surface Duo starting in January 2020. Microsoft has updated the emulator image for Surface Duo and now is at build 2020.429.2, according to a May 7 blog post. The latest image adds:

  • Support for using a keyboard in all posture and flip modes
  • App Drawer and App searches support
  • Improved Notifications support
  • Improved Settings and quick settings experience
  • Enhanced Camera experience (accessible via the Emulator)
  • Various platform improvements for App Compat around rotation, resizing, full-screen and spanning scenarios

Microsoft also is making new Surface Duo samples and helper functions meant to help developers to build for dual-screen devices.

Microsoft is planning a dual-screen session for C# developers at build, where officials will provide an update on the Surface Duo software developer kit as part of its planned React Native and WebPlat talks, the blog post says. Build 2020 will be an online-only event targeted at developers on May 19 and 20.

Last year, Microsoft officials said to expect the Surface Duo by holiday 2020. The device is being tested by a number of Microsoft employees. The Surface Duo is a phone built on top of standard Android.

Microsoft recently confirmed that it is retargeting its initial launch of its Windows 10X operating system so that it works on new, single-screen devices -- like 2-in-1s and laptops/clamshells -- rather than dual-screen devices. Microsoft officials haven't said when to expect 10X to be released to device makers, but it won't be before next year. Late last month, some noticed that Microsoft's 10X emulator now supports single screens, but Microsoft officials haven't talked about this publicly at this point.