Ex Microsoft developer successfully adapts Android 13 system for Surface Duo


Microsoft Surface Duo

The Surface Duo, Microsoft’s dual-screen device, has not received a major update since September 2022. However, an ex-Microsoft developer named Thai Nguyen has successfully adapted Android 13 for the Surface Duo. According to Windowscentral, this is a huge move because Microsoft has no plans to release Android 13 for the Surface Duo. Nguyen’s project serves as a chance to ask “what could have been” when it comes to the Duo. If builds are stable and feature-rich, we may see a way for tech-savvy users to install Android 13 onto the Surface Duo, albeit unofficially. In this article, we will discuss the details of Nguyen’s project and what it means for Surface Duo users.

Microsoft Surface Duo

Background

The Surface Duo was released in September 2020, running on Android 10. Since then, it has received two major updates, Android 11 and Android 12L. However, Microsoft has not shipped a major update to the Surface Duo since Android 12L came out in September 2022.

The Project

Nguyen’s project involves porting Android 13 onto the Surface Duo. He has a test build of Android 13 for Surface Duo in the works, which is based on the Android 13 Pixel Experience. However, Android 13 does not know how to handle the postures of the Surface Duo natively. That means Nguyen had to put in extra effort to make sure Android 13 on the Duo handles the displays and postures of the device. According to the former Microsoft developer, this is one of the major issues that he had to face with the build. Because Android 13 does not recognize the postures of the Surface Duo natively, he had to add several features to Android 13 to make sure it handles the displays and postures of the device.

This was not a simple flash or port, and it required extra effort to ensure that Android 13 works well on the Surface Duo. Despite these challenges, the developer has a test build of Android 13 for Surface Duo in the works, which is based on the Android 13 Pixel Experience.

Microsoft Surface Duo

Implications

Nguyen’s project has huge implications for Surface Duo users. If the builds are stable and feature-rich, this will give users a chance to install Android 13 onto the Surface Duo. However, this will not be an official system. Nevertheless, it would give users access to the latest features and improvements in Android 13.

Surface Duo Update History

The Microsoft Surface Duo is a dual-screen foldable smartphone that runs on Android. It was released in 2020 and has since received several software updates. However, users are wondering if Microsoft will continue to provide official updates for the Surface Duo in the future. 

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Microsoft’s Deprioritization of Surface Duo Updates

According to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, the future of Microsoft’s Surface Duo family could be in trouble due to multiple factors. Recent layoffs and a lack of support from Microsoft’s own Android app teams have contributed to the deprioritization of Surface Duo updates. Many organizations have been asked to focus on projects that are more likely to make a profit, which means devices like the Surface Duo 3 are being temporarily placed on the back burner. As it currently stands, it doesn’t look like Microsoft has the resources to fully invest in this vision.

Surface Duo / Duo 2 Update

Though the Surface Duo is starved of updates, the company is releasing updates for newer models. For example, Microsoft rolled out an update for the Surface Duo 2 in February 2023. Although the Surface Duo also got this update, it only contains security upgrades and is not a major software update. Microsoft has not shared a change log yet, but the update is 318 MB, so it’s more than a simple security update. 

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Despite the lack of major updates on the Surface Duo, there have been reports that Microsoft is working on the Surface Duo 3. According to Techadvisor, there have been rumours about the release date, pricing, and specs of the Surface Duo 3. Ewan Spence at Forbes suggested in May 2022 that there would now be two years between generations.

Surface Duo

However, if the January 2023 Windows Central report of its cancellation turns out to be true, its book-style replacement is “unlikely to be ready in time for this fall”. It’s important not to read too much into a single report, so the prospect of an upgraded Surface Duo 3 coming to market shouldn’t be ruled out entirely. But it now seems likely Microsoft will shift to this.

Final Words

Users can expect security updates and minor improvements. However, for a major software update, there is no hope in sight at the moment. Maybe in the future, Microsoft will release a major update but there is no confirmation at the moment.

The Surface Duo has not received a major update since September 2022. However, an ex-Microsoft developer named Thai Nguyen has successfully adapted Android 13 for the Surface Duo. This is a significant achievement, as reports have it that Microsoft had no plans to release Android 13 for the Surface Duo. Nguyen’s project serves as a chance for users to get the Android 13 system. If builds are stable and feature-rich, we may see a way for tech-savvy users to install Android 13 onto the Surface Duo. But this will not be an official installation.

The future of official updates for the Surface Duo from Microsoft is uncertain. The lack of recent updates and deprioritization of the device suggest that Microsoft may not have the resources to fully invest in the Surface Duo’s vision. However, Microsoft has confirmed that the Surface Duo is guaranteed to receive Android updates for three years

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