Microsoft Surface Duo might skip to Android 12L after its Android 11 update

Microsoft Surface Duo might skip to Android 12L after its Android 11 update

The original Microsoft Surface Duo shipped with Android 10 out of the box, and even though that phone is over a year old at this point (and Android 12 is widely available), it’s still on Android 10. Thankfully, according to a report from Windows Central, the phone’s update situation should improve soon.

The Surface Duo 2 comes with a newer Android 11 software experience than the original Duo shipped with, which also ironed out some of the more annoying bugs from the first Duo’s dual-screen features. Most owners of the first $1,400 Surface Duo are looking forwards to those improvements, but Microsoft has been slow to update the phone — the company said in September that Android 11 would arrive before the end of 2021. We’re now a few days into 2022, and that update is still nowhere to be found.

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A new report from Windows Central claims the update is actually complete, but is awaiting certification from Google and AT&T, which could be finalized in the next few weeks. Additionally, Microsoft is reportedly planning for the next update to be Android 12L, not Android 12. That version has several improvements specifically for large-screen and folding devices like the Duo, including more dual-pane designs, a taskbar, and other changes. The final version of Android 12L is expected to arrive sometime before the end of March.

Mishaal Rahman pointed out on Reddit that Android 12L is essentially just the next Quarterly Platform Release for Android 12, so any manufacturer that starts porting Android 12 to their devices after a certain point will likely use 12L anyway. However, if Microsoft is waiting for Android 12L to be finalized before starting on the phone’s next major update, that could delay the Duo’s already-late upgrade to Android 12.

It’s not clear right now when the Surface Duo 2 will receive its Android 12/12L update. Hopefully the Duo’s long wait for any Android upgrades won’t carry over to the Duo 2.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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