Microsoft didn’t change a whole lot about the default Android experience in the Surface Duo compared to the Nokia X series, but the company is working on a couple of useful tweaks to differentiate the Surface Duo from traditional smartphones.
Microsoft Launcher will be the soul of the Surface Duo and the company recently implemented a new landscape mode in Microsoft Launcher, which could make for a better tablet experience and allow Surface Duo to take advantage of its dual-screen real estate.
Microsoft is working on another new feature called ‘app groups’, which is similar to the Samsung App Pair.
Surface Duo’s app group feature will allow you to create groups that would let you launch two apps directly into a dual-screen session. In other words, this feature will allow you to easily pre-select two apps to quickly open in the multi-window view.
When you use app groups, a shortcut will be created and pinned to the home screen, enabling quicker access to apps that you access regularly. For example, you can create a group of OneNote and Microsoft Edge and then tap on the shortcut icon to launch OneNote on the left screen and Edge on the right screen.
Likewise, you can create a group of Edge and communication apps to make the most out of Surface Duo. Here are some popular app groups you can try when you get your Surface Duo later this year:
- Phone and messaging apps.
- Music player and Maps.
- Outlook and Edge.
- OneNote and Edge.
Microsoft is also working on several other features for Microsoft Launcher-based Surface Duo, which is expected to launch in August 2020.