Microsoft finally updates the original Surface Duo to Android 11

Months after Google released Android 12.


Microsoft is finally bringing the original Surface Duo up to date... relatively speaking. As 9to5Google notes, the company has finally released its long-promised (and late) Android 11 upgrade for the dual-screen smartphone. The newer operating system is the main draw, of course, but you'll also find a host of Surface Duo-specific improvements.

You can now play Xbox Game Pass cloud titles using an on-screen controller, for a start. OneDrive also has an "enhanced" dual-screen interface for viewing and editing photos. There are revised app drawer and folder designs with better drag-and-drop support, while the Microsoft feed and Start widgets have received updates. You can have the Surface Duo automatically span particular apps across both screens, and set preferences for answering phone calls when the device is folded. And if you prefer handwritten memos, you can click the top button on a paired Slim Pen 2 to open OneNote.

The upgrade will likely be welcome if you've been tired of living with Android 10 for more than a year. At the same time, we'll understand if it still stings. Android 12 has already been available on other phones for weeks, and in some cases months — you're still behind, even if the gap has narrowed. While it's understandable that updates for such a unique phone would take longer, that won't be much consolation if you were hoping to keep reasonably current.