Microsoft has released the Android 11 update to the Surface Duo, finally. The dual-screen phone is now receiving the previous iteration of Android OS in North America and Europe. The new firmware version is 2021.1027.156.
The initial rollout only covers the unlocked version of the phone though. The company says it is currently testing the new software package for Surface Duo units on AT&T’s network. It will release the big update to those units in the coming days or weeks.
According to the official changelog, the Surface Duo is receiving a bunch of new productivity features with this update. We can now quickly launch OneNote by clicking the top button on a paired Surface Slim Pen 2. Microsoft is also making viewing and editing photos in OneDrive seamless with an enhanced dual-screen experience.
A refreshed Microsoft feed, updated app drawer, new folder design, volume controls on Quick Settings in any mode, optimized Quick Settings and notification panel, and the ability to select apps that automatically span across the two screens are also part of the package. You can find the full changelog on Microsoft’s website here.
In addition to these new features and enhancements, this update also brings the latest January 2022 Android security patch to the Surface Duo. This month’s SMR (security maintenance release) patches several dozen vulnerabilities, a handful of which could cause critical damages to users if exploited in the wild.
Android 11 for the Microsoft Surface Duo arrives too late
Microsoft announced the Surface Duo back in August 2020. It was the company’s first Android smartphone and came running Android 10 out of the box. While the Windows giant promised to update the device to Android 11, it took forever to release the new version.
Now, at a time when Android 12 has been official for several months, the Surface Duo is finally receiving the long-overdue Android 11 update. Hopefully, the new software package is free of any critical bugs that could ruin the experience for users.
The Surface Duo is also eligible for the Android 12 update. But the latest version hasn’t even rolled out to the Surface Duo 2. So it’s anyone’s guess when the original Duo will receive it.
Reports suggest Microsoft plans to seed Android 12L to its Duo devices. It’s a tweaked version of Android 12 with an improved experience on devices with bigger screens, such as foldables. We will keep an eye on this development and let you know as and when we have more information.