The company Microsoft presented a number of new products to the world in October last year. Among them was Surface Duo – this is the first smartphone of the company on Android. But this is not its only feature, because the device has two screens that can rotate with a hinge 360 degrees. This makes the use of such a device extremely interesting.
How does Android work with two screens?
For example, you can make both screens on the outside of the device. This will make it convenient to make calls. In addition, the secondary screen can act as a keyboard or joystick in games.
This form factor does not allow Microsoft to simply take and adapt the software for the device. The interface and management Android had to be completely changed, and Microsoft understood this, which is why the company released an SDK for developers, which is aimed at ensuring that now they are engaged in adapting their applications for such format.
Of course, the question is who will do this at all, but it is worth understanding that developments will allow applications to work well not only with the current Surface Duo, but also with future devices that can get one large flexible display by analogy with Samsung. And even if the phone does not have frames, such gesture control, adapted for two desktops, will certainly seem convenient.
To see how the new gestures work in Android 10, you can watch a video posted by user zacbowden in Twitter:
Here's a quick look at some of the (unfinished) navigation gestures that are part of the Surface Duo. This build is pretty buggy, but still interesting to see. pic.twitter.com/Jra1xVfZl2
– Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) January 22, 2020
You can see that while the control is not very smooth, but a start has been made, and this is the most important thing. In addition, Microsoft shared with the developers her vision of what an application should be able to do when working with two screens.
Surface Duo app modes
Application modes on Surface Duo
Extended canvas mode is a normal single screen mode where the system treats two displays as one. This format does not seem very convenient for now, but in the future, when devices with a flexible flexible screen begin to sell, the benefits of the Extended canvas mode will become obvious. The second Master-Detail mode is more interesting. When you click on an application interface element on one screen, detailed information about it can appear on the second display. The Two Pages mode makes the screens independent, for example, you can open one browser tab on the first screen and another on the second. In Dual View mode, you can use one application simultaneously on two screens, while at the time of operation, actions on the first screen can affect what happens on the second. And the last Companion Pane mode represents some additional functionality (possibly widgets) that will always be located on the additional screen, complementing the work of the main window.
As you can see, there are a lot of operating modes, and companies are unlikely to spend resources to adapt their applications to this format, unless, of course, they are paid Microsoft or there is confidence that the smartphone Microsoft anyone will buy at all. So far, in truth, a very strange situation. In addition, Microsoft announced that it will only start selling Surface Duo at the end of 2020 and will not support 5G.
Nadella's article replaces Steve Ballmer, but it looks like he's making the same mistakes. Who is Microsoft counting on trying to sell Surface Duo? If this is a device for business, then, of course, there are chances of success, but so far it is difficult to call such a device a mass one. Microsoft can solve this problem very simply – it is necessary that its SDK become part of the new version Android. However, here it is worth considering that in the case of adapting the interface for flexible devices, Google is already cooperating with Samsung, since it itself has a similar device, which is already available to everyone.
And this confusion around, when each manufacturer pulls a blanket over himself and thinks that developers will adapt their applications for it, I, in truth, saddens. Without Google, no company – not even Microsoft – can popularize a feature. However, even Google, releasing a new version Android, can enjoy the result of its work only until the next version is released, simply because other manufacturers only manage to adapt their shells after a few months.
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