Microsoft Releases Android 12L Update for Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2

After several months of waiting, Microsoft has finally announced the general availability of the Android 12L update for the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2, with a new interface redesigned to match the look and feel of Windows 11 and plenty of other goodies from the Android 12 update.

First, the Android 12L update brings a new visual update to several elements of the OS user interface based on the Fluent design language used in Windows 11 to give Surface Duo devices a consistent look similar to what users are familiar with on their computers. This new redesign appears in the quick settings menu, as well as in the toggle buttons in various areas of the system and its settings, which are pretty similar to those in Windows 11.

Moreover, in the Android 12L update, Microsoft also updated the Settings app with the same icons in the Windows 11 Settings, and added 4 additional wallpapers that align with new Windows desktop backgrounds. These new wallpapers use the dynamic theming engine feature provided by Android 12 which inherits the system accent color from the home screen wallpaper providing users with color palettes applied across the system to customize their phones, "bringing the vibrancy of Windows to Android", according to Microsoft.

Next, a new customizable pen menu similar to the one found in Windows 11 has been added to the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 with this update. When you tap on the Surface Slim Pen 2, it appears with shortcuts to a list of apps that support inking, which is really a useful feature for those who use a Surface Pen.

Microsoft aims to make Android on Surface devices similar to Windows to "build stronger connections between your Windows 11 PC and your Duo device, making your everyday easier".

Android 12L is Google's version of Android 12 for foldable devices and tablets, and so, this update brings also all the new features of Android 12 to Microsoft Surface Duo devices including a new Privacy Dashboard that tracks camera, microphone, and location usage by apps in the past 24 hours, and a new privacy change that allows users to choose to either share their exact or approximate location only when an app requests location permission. Additionally, with Android 12, the camera and microphone will display new indicators in the status bar when they're in use, and both can be disabled or enabled directly from a new toggle in the quick settings.

Android 12 also introduces new conversation widgets to keep in touch with your friends, easy data transferring from your previous device to the new one using a Wi-Fi or a cable connection, and it improves accessibility as well, with a more spacious design for UI elements, contrast optimizations and new visibility features from magnification to brightness and color management.

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