Are you excited about the Surface Duo? Let's talk Dual Screen Development!!
Published Sep 16 2020 02:54 PM 2,256 Views

Resources for Surface Duo Development:

Want to start building apps for Surface Duo? Quick links to help you get there!

  1. Bookmark | Azure for Mobile Developers
  2. Read | Introduction to dual screen devices
  3. Install | Surface Duo SDK  - Download SDK Here
  4. Validate | Test Your Emulator
  5. Develop | Native, Cross-Platform or Mobile Web
  6. Subscribe | Surface Duo Blog


What is the Surface Duo?
The Surface Duo is an Android-powered dual-screen device from Microsoft that has built-in support for Microsoft 365 (the productivity cloud from Microsoft) and has a unique 360-degree hinge that enables multiple "postures" for device usage. I am writing a series of posts about it here if you want to learn more.

Or check out my sketchnote below for an overview.
Sketchnote: Microsoft Surface Duo BriefingSketchnote: Microsoft Surface Duo Briefing

Am I excited about Surface Duo?
Yes, yes I am!! This is the first-generation device so obviously we will learn a lot from having the device out there in the real-world.  But the reason I am excited about it is that it represents a change in how we are thinking about mobile device "affordances" (design capabilities) and gives us a chance to rethink what a mobile experience could be. Plus, I love the fact that we can develop for the device using native apps (Android) or multi-platform frameworks (Xamarin, React-Native) or mobile web!

What kinds of ideas can we think about here?
I'm starting to play with the SDK and device, but I want you to think about three things that might be interesting:

  • Dual-Screen = Side By Side Apps.
    What 2 apps do you always use together (or close together in time?) What could you do if you were able to have them run concurrently? For me, this could be "watch TV and tweet at the same time" or "Listen and Learn" where I am on a Teams call in one screen and taking notes on OneNote in another. (And yes, having M365 on the device is :party_popper:)

  • Hinge = Multiple Postures.
    The Surface Duo has a 360 degree hinge. So you can fold it flat (into a phone), tent it (to watch video), fold it partly (to resemble books for reading) or fold it out (into a full-size tablet to read paper-size articles). Or you can set it up like a laptop and have one side be where your virtual keyboard pops up. As a user, would there be specific postures that make it more productive to use specific apps? What kinds of new experiences can we develop now?

  • Android + M365 (+ Edge)
    This is the first dual-screen mobile device that will have both Android and M365 app ecosystems available to the user. This means support for both enterprise and consumer experiences, and the ability to create "paired" experiences that target specific tasks or apps that support your multi-tasking behaviors. Think about how this could transform the way folks work in the field, or on the go? Drag-and-drop capability to transfer data by touch between screens. Pairing a native or M365 app on one screen with a mobile web app on the other. What would a progressive web app look like on these devices?

If this sounds interesting - come join my Table Talk session at Microsoft Ignite. We're talking about "Why We're Excited To Be a Developer Right Now" and I can't wait to learn more about your ideas for dual-screen apps!

Version history
Last update:
‎Sep 16 2020 03:04 PM
Updated by: