Microsoft Releases Android 11 Update for Surface Duo


At a time when most owners of leading Android devices got the new Android 12 update, Microsoft finally announced the release of the Android 11 update for its first foldable smartphone, Surface Duo.

Surface Duo is Microsoft's first Android-based device that the company announced in October 2019 during the Surface event, and it came with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6 GB of RAM, up to 256 GB of internal storage space, and the Android 10 operating system. The device was officially launched for sale almost a year after this announcement, for $1,399 (in September 2020), and it has been on Android 10 since then.

A few months ago, Microsoft launched the second generation of this foldable phone called Surface Duo 2, which came with newer and higher specifications such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor, 8 GB RAM, and up to 512 GB of internal storage space, and most importantly of this, it was released with Android 11 out of the box, left questions about the fate and future of the first-generation Surface Duo, and prompted some to speculate that the device won't get any major Android update at all.


At the beginning of this month, Windows Central reported that Microsoft has already finished working on the Android 11 update for Surface Duo 1, and that the company is only waiting for the green light from Google and AT&T to release it to users, and that this update will be released in a few weeks.

Yesterday, Microsoft officially announced the awaited update, which brought the following changes:

  • The Android Security Bulletin—January 2022.
  • Enabled launching of OneNote when clicking the top button on Surface Slim Pen 2 when paired with the Surface Duo.
  • Enabled in Surface Duo features, in Settings, to choose a preference for answering phone calls when folded.
  • Enabled in Surface Duo features, in Settings, to choose specific apps to automatically span across both screens when you open them.
  • Optimized Quick Settings and notification width for portrait and landscape orientations.
  • Adjust media volume directly from Quick Settings in any device mode.
  • Use thumb mode in Microsoft SwiftKey now with all device modes and application states.
  • Updated app drawer and folder design with improved drag-and-drop support.
  • Refreshed Microsoft feed design with updated cards and new Microsoft Start widgets for News and Weather.
  • A New Photos app (by OneDrive): New dual-screen enhanced experience for viewing and editing photos in the OneDrive app.
  • Xbox Game Pass app: Discovery and play games from the cloud with an on-screen controller.

The size of the update is 2.38 GB, and it will reach users who have an unlocked version of the device gradually, while users who have an AT&T version will have to wait for more time before getting the 

Android 11 update.


This update adds most of the features available in the new Surface Duo 2 version to the original Surface Duo 1, which is expected to improve users' experience and increase their productivity. The Android 11 update also gives users hope of getting another major Android update in the future on their Surface Duo device, such as the Android 12L update that Google is working on, which brings a lot of improvements for tablets as well as for foldable devices.

To update your Surface Duo, go to Settings → System → System update, tap the "Check for updates" button, and you'll see a new update is available for download. Once the update has finished downloading, press the "Restart now" button, and wait for the update process to complete.

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