I was flabbergasted that there is no thread for the SGDuo 2.
i posted this under the surface duo 11 thread. since it talks about both versions of duo there.
I had a Duo 1 for a couple of days. I liked it, but it was ordered (eBay) out of interest, with no chance of replacing my Huawei Mate 20 x. The camera! Come on MS… the Duo 3 NEEDS a really, really fantastic camera.
SGDuo - What’s that? A special edition?
Duo 11 - Steady, we’re only on the second version.
First significant discounts on the Duo 2 now.
And one negative note: We are hearing that while the Duo 2 will get Android 12L eventually, it’s likely that it will be at the very end of the year at the earliest, and more likely 2023. Allegedly it’s down to the amount of customization that MS already does to Android 11 for the Duo 2.
And…it’s still unclear if the original Duo will get 12L at all, though it looks like it will eventually get regular 12
EDIT: Windows Central implies that the original Duo will get 12L too, though the post they reference doesn’t actually say that
What is so compelling (to some of us) about the Surface Duo user experience? Why do 2 separate screens scream productivity?
I admit I haven’t read the M$ research, but here’s a thought:
- the traditional cell phone experience is immersion in one app
- in recent years the banner/notification software actually presents as an interruption to the concentration or focus on the one app
- with two separate screens a user can choose to (a) have the immersion of one app AND simultaneously access the background, widgets and status bar of the rest of the UI; (b) simultaneously have immersion into 2 full apps; or (c) continue single app immersion in one much larger canvas
It’s the choice and (relative) ease of switching between those modes that appeals to me.
I have had some small success in getting some of this functionality on the iPad Mini 6 ((b) and (c)). I CANNOT replicate access to the full underlying UI while an app is split to one side of the single screen ((a) above). I know the Z Fold can split screen and float apps; one of the current Z Fold users will have to opine on whether they can run an app on one side AND have full access to the underlying UI at the same time.
iOS let me consolidate all reminders, tasks, notes to the M$ Trinity (Outlook, OneNote & M$ To Do) using Siri and getting one calendar and task list to rule them all. Google Assistant does not provide spoken commands in much of the Trinity. IFTTT helps only slightly. The result is a kludgy bucket of workarounds that’s hard to remember and manage.
If M$ had left Cortana on Android, I might actually make the Duo work as THE one device. For now, it can only be a secondary device. I still want the Apple Watch, Siri and an iPhone (since the Apple Watch won’t pair to an iPad Mini) to preserve the productivity of the Trinity. Carry the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad Mini 6, or the iPhone, Apple Watch and SDuo? Secondary device either way. Is use case (a) above worth twice the price and adding the Google ecosystem/app UI differences into my workflow?
Post Script: In fairness, this is only even possible because M$ brought its apps to iOS and Android in the first place.
Personally, I still think long-term the software approach is going to be the way to go (especially as hinges and foldable screens improve). Hypothetically, say the Z Fold was the same ratio as the Duo. If the Z Fold ran Microsoft’s software with a software screen ‘divider’ by default (until you manually extend an app), you’d get all the benefits of two separate screens like the Duo. Except then when you expand something across the entire screen the divider goes away, so you can watch videos (or read a website, make a drawing, whatever you want) without dealing with the whole ‘gutter’ issue.
Two screens causes an issue that can’t be worked around, whereas if you handle it in software there’s much more room for flexibility… kind of similar to why hardware keyboards on phones (which I loved) went away in favor of larger screens.
I’ll play devil’s advocate and say two screens provides something that a single foldable screen cannot: development focus on a dual-pane UX.
Consider how many Android apps have “optimized” for the Fold by simply enlarging their interfaces into a small tablet mode, without even considering the “book” user mode that leverages a split view. This precisely because there is no physical divider, and developers simply treat an unfolded screen as a single larger screen.
Now consider a world where the Duo has an appreciable marketshare (I know, stretch your mind ), and “optimized for Duo” was a thing. Now developers targeting the Duo would start with the UX paradigm of “How does my app interact with another open app?” and “How can I present extra information on the second screen when the app is spanned?”
It’s a completely different development mentality, and what I believe MS is trying to champion in the mobile space: true, context-aware multitasking as a UX base.
@Marty I wish that was true that they put that level of thought in to it across the board. And while the most basic part of the UI, the launcher, follows that idea quite well, even MS own apps are sorely lacking in that respect with Outlook being the only one that even comes close.
For that matter, I could make a decent argument that MS apps do a better job of supporting Samsung’s Fold 3 take on taking advantage of a flexible workspace.
Zfold user chiming in. I can select a running app from the multitasking screen and choose “open in pop up view” to have it run in a resizeable window over the main UI. In that way, i have access to the homescreen as normal. It “minimizes” to a small floating icon, and pops back up to the size and location it was at previously. I am able to have this post open in one window and outlook open in a separate floating window. So there is some support for that level of multitasking. I wish they would just let dex run on the inside screen.
I should add, as someone who came to the zfold from the original duo, the thing I miss most about dual screens is the assumption that a link will open on the other screen. If I click a link in an email on the zfold, the new app opens full screen. If I clicked a link in an email on the duo, the app would open on the other screen. I think the biggest difference is still that the duo is mutlitasking first and the zfold is full screen first. There may be ways to tweak that or work around it, but the default assumption is different. I’ve been using my tab S6 lite with dex instead of regular android more recently because I like having several things going at once vs switching between full screen things that often need to reload when you switch around. I’m finding that for me, more and more, android can do what I need as long as I can use dex and treat it like windows but running android apps. If Microsoft ever gets something like continuum going on the Duo or can take advantage of the coming built-in windowing mode on an external monitor, that would certainly be something. I tried the OG duo with my nexdock and the best it could was mirror the screen with black bars. Floating windows is a step in the right direction, but a full desktop mode is even better.
Looks like the $250 sale is over on both BB and M$.
Haha, for a moment I believed the Duo 2 was discounted to $250. Made me look!
It was discounted for about 10 days.
@Bishop, are you getting that itch again😃?
Just monitoring. There is a price point at which it might be a viable 2nd device. If SD3 is cancelled, then there’s no point in spending anything on SD2. If NEO rises like a phoenix, there’s no point in SD2. If SD2 or 3 could dual boot Win 11, there’s a new sense of urgency.
So, you know…
Think the SD1 is almost on the same code base with the Deux and performance has been great lately. But if you $900 works for you, you can already get one from ITSavvy. Still got the demo ones in stock.
They never answered my email trying to setup an account.
Yeah, that’s one problem with them. Had to try a couple of times before it went thru. But was totally worth it. Got the SP8 i5/16/256 for about $800. Just saw the same SKU on the Microsoft store for $1,600.