Microsoft releases Surface Duo SDK on macOS

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What you need to know

  • Microsoft released the Surface Duo SDK on macOS.
  • The SDK allows developers to try out features and optimize apps on the dual-screen device's OS.
  • The Surface Duo runs a version of Android built around the device having two screens.

More developers can try out the Surface Duo's version of Android, thanks to an update from Microsoft. Just a week after releasing the Surface Duo SDK for Windows developers, Microsoft made the SDK available on macOS (via MSPU). The SDK allows developers to optimize apps for the Surface Duo's dual-screen experience and to try out the various dual-screen functionality of Microsoft's upcoming Android phone.

Following the release of the Surface Duo preview SDK on Windows, our senior editor Zac Bowden tried out the customized version of Android that's included. In his hands-on video, Bowden shows off how the Surface Duo will handle apps opening across multiple screens and other elements of the operating system.

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The Surface Duo represents a new device category from Microsoft. While there are some folding devices available, such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Surface Duo takes a different approach to multitasking. Rather than focusing on expanding apps to fill a single larger screen, the Surface Duo runs apps side-by-side and can run different portions of apps on its two displays. For example, Microsoft Outlook lets you look scroll through emails on one screen and view the contents of emails on the other screen.

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In addition to showing off how the Surface Duo will handle apps, the SDK gives us a glimpse of how the Surface Duo will look in action. In Bowden's video, you can see the tweaked task switching UI and the operating systems' fluid animations.

Sean Endicott