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Microsoft creates Windows 11-flavored Android 12L update
- Microsoft has announced its Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 have received an Android 12L update.
- The update brings unified iconography, colors, and UI controls.
- It also introduces new features like a pen shortcut menu, updated widgets, improved accessibility, and more.
There was a rumor that came out earlier this month that suggested the Microsoft Surface Duo and the Duo 2 could be getting a Windows 11-inspired Android 12L update. It looks like that rumor has been confirmed as Microsoft has officially announced the update on its blog.
According to the Redmond-based business, the update based on Android 12L will bring a number of improvements to build “stronger connections between Windows and Duo, driving familiarity using visuals and coherence.” These improvements include a visual revamp, new features, and enhancements to the user experience.
In terms of visuals, the Duo and Duo 2 will mimic Google’s dynamic theming visual language with unified iconography, colors, and UI controls. This means users can personalize color palettes to match with their selected wallpaper. Additionally, Microsoft is including four new wallpapers that align with Windows desktop backgrounds.
The Android 12L update will also provide support for a new Pen menu interface. By clicking on the end of the Surface Slim Pen 2, this feature will allow you to bring up a customizable window that can quickly show you your favorite apps.
The other improvements Microsoft focuses on in its blog are UX enhancements that include updated widgets, accessibility improvements, privacy improvements, and the ability to switch from any phone.
Starting with widgets, there’s not going to be any drastic differences. However, the update will change the appearance of widgets to be closer in style to each other.
For accessibility, Microsoft states that the update will give users improved UI elements, contrast optimizations, and visibility. These visibility improvements will include everything from magnification to brightness and color management.
With the introduction of a new privacy dashboard, users now have the ability to keep track of camera, microphone, and location usage by apps for the past 24 hours. Microsoft is also giving users the freedom to disable the camera and microphone and choose the accuracy of location data by app.
Finally, there’s the addition of being able to transfer data from your old phone to the Duo. By connecting to Wi-Fi or through a cable, you have the ability to transfer information from any phone — including the iPhone — to the Duo during the initial setup process.
The Duo and the Duo 2 have had some buggy performance issues in the past. Hopefully, this new update will help make these devices more enjoyable to use.