Microsoft publishes a preview SDK for making dual-screen Android apps
At Microsoft’s Surface event last year in October, the company showcased the Microsoft Surface Duo — a dual-screen Android smartphone. The device featured two 5.6-inch displays connected by a 360-degree hinge, which is quite unlike any foldable smartphone we’ve seen so far. While there’s still a long way before Microsoft releases the device to the market, the company has now published a preview SDK to help developers get their apps ready for the dual displays.
As per a recent report from The Verge, apps developed using the preview SDK will allow users to span them across both displays when they’re in double-portrait or double-landscape mode. In a post regarding the SDK, Microsoft envisions that app developers can potentially try out various ways to utilize both the screens. The company has also highlighted different use cases, including using both the screens as an extended canvas, having two pages of a document shown at once, using the second display as a companion, or have a major part of the app on one display with details on the second.
As of now, these are still “initial app pattern ideas” according to Microsoft, and the company might consider extending them based on developer feedback in the coming months. The company is also asking developers to consider several different inputs, including touch, stylus, and pen, along with more orientations for the new dual-screen devices.
Microsoft also wants dual-screen app developers to embrace drag and drop functionality which would be beneficial for dual-screen devices. The functionality will essentially allow users to run two apps side-by-side and drag-and-drop items from one app to the other. Along with that, if developers enable multiple instances for their apps, users will also be able to open multiple instances of the same app side-by-side on dual-display devices. Additionally, Microsoft is also releasing an Android emulator for the Surface Duo which will allow developers to test mobile apps.