We’ve been given a little glimpse into how the Surface Duo’s dual screens will work with Android, thanks to a developer blog post by Microsoft.
When the Duo was revealed back in October, Microsoft said that it was working hard with developers to make sure they could easily build apps for the hinged two-screen design. It looks like the company has stuck to its word, as a new blog post outlines a number of clever little features in the software development kit that should make developers’ lives a little easier.
Related: Best smartphones 2020
There are three software elements introduced in the post: SurfaceDuoLayout, SurfaceDuoScreenManager, and ScreenHelper.
The first of these should make it easier to manage single and dual layouts for an app. The second element will let the app ‘listen’ for screen changes, such as when the user switches to single-screen mode. And the final element will provide information on the screen position and hinge angle, allowing the app’s display to react accordingly.
Reading between the lines, it’s clear that Microsoft intends for the Duo to switch smoothly between all different layout possibilities, whether the device is folded out to the full 8.3-inch display, being used like a 5.6-inch tablet, or just slightly ajar. And it looks like app developers will be able to play around with the best screen solutions for their individual products.
Related: Surface Duo price, release date and rumours
Unlike some of its rivals – such as the Galaxy Fold 2 – the Surface Duo doesn’t have a bendy screen but instead relies on a hinge. Hopefully, this should mean that we don’t see any problems relating to durability or screen quality. But it does pose a bit of an extra challenge for screen transitions.
Microsoft is clearly trying to smooth out any bumps before launch by highlighting the new layout-related software elements to developers. We won’t know how successful this approach has been until we get to see the finished Surface Duo in action – but according to new rumours, we don’t have that much longer to wait.