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Two Surface Duos crash during live stream for app developers

Posted February 14, 2020 | Mobile | News


Earlier this week, Microsoft produced a live stream that starred the dual-screen Surface Duo. The device won’t be officially unveiled until October and should be available during the holiday shopping season. The live stream was produced for the benefit of developers to get them excited at the prospect of developing dual-screened apps. However, during the live stream, a pair of Surface Duo units stubbornly refused to move apps across both displays and then crashed.

During a demo for app developers, two Surface Duo units crashed

The demo was going swimmingly for Microsoft at first and according to The Verge, one of the dual screens stopped responding to touch inputs. The app drawer would not disappear as it should have, and Google Maps would not span across the two displays. The head of the Windows Developer Platform, Kevin Gallo, was hosting the live stream and he swapped out the faulty unit for another Surface Duo from his pocket. But that device also failed to move an app across both displays and then crashed.

Since that is definitely not the look that you want prospective developers (and some customers) to see, Microsoft reshot the video and this time everything worked perfectly. Some might consider this to be an attempt by Microsoft to pull the wool over developers’ eyes. However, at the beginning of the video, a notice says that “some demonstrations (were) updated post-event.”

The Surface Duo was first revealed this past October and is equipped with two 5.6-inch displays, each with a resolution of 1350 x 1800. Together, they form an 8.3-inch display albeit one with a border down the middle between the two screens. Microsoft has been working with Google and its own Office team to optimize apps and it is hoping that third-party developers do so as well. The Surface Duo is designed to be a productivity and multitasking tool and there should be some interest from both consumers and companies alike when the phone launches during the fourth quarter. The handset will also come out of the box with a stylus.

Microsoft’s first Android-powered device will feature a patented 360-degree hinge. Based on patents received by the software giant, the hinge will be able to determine the positioning of the displays and the UI will be adjusted accordingly. For example, in Laptop mode, the device is held in landscape orientation and when opened the two screens will resemble a laptop computer with the bottom display providing a virtual QWERTY keyboard for the user. One of Microsoft’s patents mentioned a Tent mode which looks like an inverted “V.” This will supposedly provide the Duo with an interface that includes an alarm clock so that it can be placed on a nightstand.

The Surface Duo is not a foldable device like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola razr which all have flexible screens. But it will be pocketable when closed and does give users a tablet-sized display to use when fully opened.

Even though there might be some Microsoft fans who would prefer to see the company give Windows Phone another shot on a device like this, the truth is that by using Android, the Surface Duo will be compatible with consumers’ favorite apps. The gang in Redmond does not want to deal again with the so-called app gap that ended up sinking Windows Phone.



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