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Microsoft updates Surface Duo emulator with sample apps to inspire app makers

Surface Duo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft’s latest update to the Surface Duo emulator will include new app samples to help developers bring their ideas to life. Showcasing the code and final design of a variety of programs, the samples will demonstrate how apps can be optimized to best make use of the Surface Duo’s features.

The samples are predominantly intended to help developers understand how to effectively use the Surface Duo’s two screens, using samples like TwoNote (a dual-screen nod to the popular OneNote app) and Photo Editor to demonstrate how an app’s user interface can be split across both displays.

Hopefully, this will result in better apps appearing for the dual-screen phone.

Developers will also find examples of how to implement Pen support and widgets such as an RSS feed, and how to enable drag and drop of content from other apps. The full list of samples can be found in Microsoft’s developer update, with the code for the apps available on GitHub

New design tools

In addition to the sample apps, app makers using the Surface Duo emulator will also be able to access new Design Kit features. The latest version includes new device frame assets to help developers design dual-screen apps, and design guidance.

The Surface Duo SDK also has a few minor tweaks and fixes for the Recycler View rotation issue, and a SurfaceDuoLayout bug relating to using it inside an Activity in span mode.

This update will hopefully make it easier for developers to create apps that take advantage of the Surface Duo’s dual screens. Microsoft’s innovative new handset is very expensive, so having a large library of apps to justify the second screen – and the hefty price tag – could help convince potential customers to give it a whirl.