Microsoft Surface Duo emulator February refresh

Joy Liu

Hello Android developers,

Today we are releasing the latest update to the Surface Duo emulator. Since last December, we started to introduce some app samples into the emulator so you can play with them directly and get a better idea about how to build an application or enhance your application on the Surface Duo device.

Here are the samples you can find in the application list once you install the latest version of the Surface Duo emulator, as below.

Surface Duo Samples

It is a collection of code samples built in Kotlin, showcasing the development on Surface Duo in different scenarios. All the code samples are open source, which can be found in our GitHub public repo, surface-duo-sdk-samples-kotlin.

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As you can see, for each sample, you can try it out directly inside Surface Duo Samples app or click View Code to check out the source code on GitHub inside the emulator.

  • Drag and drop: shows how to build a layout where you can drag and drop content from other apps, mentioned in the blog, Bring your app to Surface Duo – Step 2.
  • Dual View: shows how to implement the Dual view app pattern with a mock restaurant application.
  • Hinge Angle: shows how to leverage the hinge angle with a simple drawing application, mentioned in the blog, Hinge Angle on Microsoft Surface Duo last year.
  • List Detail: shows how to implement the List-detail app pattern with a mock gallery application.
  • Pen Events: shows how to enable Pen support and detect Pen Event on Surface Duo, mentioned in the blog, Pen Events on the Surface Duo
  • Two Page: shows how to build the Two page app pattern with a mock reading application.
  • Companion Pane: shows how to implement the Companion pane with an image editing application.
  • Extended Canvas: shows how to build the Extended canvas app pattern with a mock map application.
  • Intent To Second Screen: shows how to start a new Activity on the second screen, which was just mentioned in the last blog, Developer tip: launch on adjacent screen.
  • Qualifier: shows how to use the Android resource qualifiers to structure the project resource in the development of Surface Duo, mentioned in the blog, Resource configuration for Microsoft Surface Duo.
  • Multiple Instance: shows how to open multiple instances of the same activity.


A sample provides a complete widget implementation, including an RSS feed reader that can display a blog summary on the phone’s home screen, mentioned in Dual-screen devices love widgets.

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A notetaking application, integrating various dual-screen features (including dual-screen app patterns, drag and drop, and pen events), mentioned in the blog, Noteworthy new Surface Duo app sample.

Photo Editor

A simple photo editing application, demonstrates the companion pane UX pattern and how to take advantage of drag and drop on dual screens.

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Source Editor

A source editing application features an HTML editor and formatter that enable real-time editing and previewing of formatted source code. We talked about PhotoEditor and SourceEditor in the blog, New Microsoft Surface Duo app samples.

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Surface Duo SDK update

We also updated our Surface Duo SDK this week. Here are the release notes:

  • Fixed issues related to SurfaceDuoLayout when it is used inside an Activity in span mode that was previously opened in span mode.
  • Fix the Recycler View rotation issue.
  • Added common test utilities classes to a new module.

Design Kit update

The Surface Duo Design Kit has also been updated. The latest version includes device frame assets which you can drag and drop to start designing dual-screen apps for the Surface Duo. The kit also includes a wide variety of controls and components, as well as design guidance for dual-screen user experiences.

Resources and feedback

Visit the Surface Duo developer documentation for the latest emulator details and release notes.

If you have any questions or feedback on the emulator, or would like to tell us about your apps, use the feedback forum or message us on Twitter @surfaceduodev. The Surface Duo Developer Experience team is also streaming every Friday at 11am PST on Twitch, and you can find live stream archives and other video content on our YouTube channel.


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