June 29 update below, post originally published June 28.
As the dual-screen Surface Duo approaches the release, Microsoft has once again updated its Android offering and this time it could benefit all folding Android devices.
June 28 update: one of the other advantages of Microsoft that uses its Android launcher for dual-screen devices is the possibility of using public code with its prototype and late development hardware, such as the removable screen concept. Further details on the use of magnets instead of hinges were discovered by Mayank Parmar:
“In the presentation, Microsoft revealed how to use the elongated magnetic hinge assembly to bring together two displays on dual-screen hardware so that they are synchronized, rotatable and modular.
“The Redmond company notes that the patented device comprises two parts that can be rotatably fixed by a magnetic hinge assembly. The hinge assembly comprises two parts with magnets and Microsoft claims that it will use ferromagnetic material, such as iron, which is attracted to the magnets. of the group. “
Although the patent application does not guarantee that the hardware will arrive on consumer units, it shows Microsoft’s long-term planning for both the folding hardware and the use of Android. After all the launch of Microsoft in 2015.
It should come as no surprise that Microsoft will use its Microsoft Launcher as the basis for the Surface Duo interface. Microsoft has not only updated and perfected this powerful app for many years, but also allows the key functionality of Surface Duo – dual displays – to be easily integrated into the launcher. Latest Windows reports:
“Microsoft Launcher will be the soul of Surface Duo and the company recently implemented a new landscape mode in Microsoft Launcher, which could offer a better experience with tablets and allow Surface Duo to take advantage of its dual-screen real estate sector.
“Microsoft is working on another new feature called” app groups “, which would be very similar to the Samsung app line on Galaxy and Note.”
One of the features provided is the ability to launch multiple apps with a single touch, the group of apps mentioned above, which would launch multiple apps in the multiple screen format that will characterize Surface Duo. This could open up a traffic map and your diary, Instagram and your photo gallery, OneNote and email or any combination that works for you.
Unlike the commitments that Microsoft has made for the Android project, these changes are related to its code. The launcher is available as a free download for any Android device. Assuming more dual-screen Android hardware will be released, the launcher should work with those devices, and if not, you can be sure that Microsoft will work on an update fairly quickly.
Although there is nothing to stop Microsoft from transferring these features to Android’s open sounce project, unlike the commitments related to the Chromium browser, most manufacturers use their UI level and launcher on their phones or use Android One which uses its own Google launcher. It is one of the reasons why the Microsoft launcher was an interesting project to follow. Not only does it offer a place for Microsoft’s cloud on Android (with over ten million downloads, or many Home screens), but it has also provided Microsoft with a lot of experience and feedback on how people use their Android devices.
No doubt these lessons will be reflected in the Surface Duo. The dual-screen Android device was marketed as being on sale in the “2020 holidays”, but there are some signs that could be launched in the next 4-6 weeks.
Now read more about the Surface Duo launch dates …