Skip to main content

Quick Look at the Surface Duo Android Emulator

Microsoft recently released their SDK and Emulator for developing dual screen applications for the Surface Duo (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dual-screen/introduction) and being a bit curious about what the experience was going to be on a dual screen device I decided to give download it and give it a try. 

First Impressions

First and foremost there is the novelty of having two apps launched side by side.



The Duo emulator is using Android Version 10 and to be API version 29, both are the latest versions of Android.


There is no Play Store or Microsoft Store on the emulator, which is to be expected as its main purpose is app development. But beyond that it appears that most of the Google applications are not included in the device and the build is based off the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) more than anything else. What typically are the default applications on Android have been replaced with Microsoft Applications. 

User Experience

The single panel user experience is exactly what you'd expect from any Android Device. By default gesture navigation is enabled and changing back to 3-button navigation actually causes some navigational issues. Microsoft did update visual instructions for gesture navigation to the dual screen form factor. 


In addition to the standard gesture navigation you can actually use the recent apps panel to drag and drop applications do different screens. 


One final note about the UX is the application dock actually moves when you open up an app. by default the 6 applications you've added to the dock are spread across the 2 screens. Once you open up an app on one of the screens the docked apps will actually slide over to the other screen and slide back when you go back to the home screen. 



Developer Notes

The emulator appears to based of same Android Emulator you get when you download the SDK or Android Studio on your machine which makes it familiar and easy to get started with. 



You can still enable developer mode by tapping on the build information. I wasn't able to find an option for developers in the settings application but a quick search will bring you to the developer settings including the ability to enable ADB. Most of the other developer settings appear to be standard and it doesn't look like Microsoft has added anything else here. 



If you want to enable things like freeform windows, force desktop mode, and force activities to be resizable or any of the other experimental features they actually will not work, which is a bit of a disappointment but not unexpected. 


Closing Thoughts 

Overall I'm impressed with the overall UX of the device and the level of thought that went into even the smaller details such as moving the docked icons over when you launch an app and even updating the visual guide for gesture navigation and I am excited for more to come. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PowerApps Delegation Warning

Update Aug 15 2019 - Microsoft has updated PowerApps to allow for some complex SharePoint data delegation, this will hopefully resolve most issues you were seeing when working with SharePoint data: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/sharepoint-delegation-improvements/

If you've tried to use the Filter, LookUp or Search actions in PowerApps you have seen the yellow warning error that shows a 'delegation warning' and you might have even ignored it because your PowerApp was working fine in testing. However once you get into larger data sets your PowerApp will have some issues so in this blog I will attempt to explain what the delegation warning is and how you can fix your PowerApp.

Delegation So what even is Delegation in PowerApps? When doing any sort of data manipulation for an app, PowerApps will try to push the processing of that data to the source system instead of doing all of the manipulation in the app. This is done to increase the efficiency of your app and r…

Getting started with Self Service Support in O365 with Learning Pathways

One thing that comes up in every O365 rollout is the need for employees to have some sort of self-service support in O365. In the past this would mean the learning and development teams would have to create artifact on artifact of material to help employees find the answers they are looking for. Now in Office 365 Microsoft has created a custom learning module to address this need. The learning pathways solution can be customized to the app mix that is used by your organization and brings in the relevant Microsoft resources into an app in your tenant. Provisioning Learning Pathways The learning pathways solution will provision a SharePoint application and will require a SharePoint App Catalog. If you do not have an App Catalog in O365 and one will need to be created. You can install the learning pathways solution in one of two ways, the first is to use the pnp provisioning service (recommended), which will automatically create and set-up the site collection. The second option is to ma…

O365 Weekly Digest - 01/28/2019

Every week I'll be posting a quick summary of O365 updates included in the admin weekly digest email that you can sign up for via the admin Message Center: https://admin.microsoft.com/AdminPortal/Home#/MessageCenter -these emails include items posted to the message center over the last week and come out every Monday.
Lots of updates and reminders to some already talked about features this week. The one I am most excited about is the new site branding and mega menu navigation (Roadmap IDs 33131, 33132, 33138, 43781). The rollout for this feature was pushed back a bit but is now rolling out. There has also been a delay in the rollout for SharePoint reminders based on date fields (Roadmap ID 34267), and the new icons for the waffle which are rolling out soon as well (Roadmap ID 45441).

The updates this week also sent reminders for the Planner Notifications in a Teams activity feed that was covered last week (Roadmap ID 45878), as well as the opt-in toggle for try the early version of…