Android 12L for Surface Duo is now available with new UI and more

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's big Android 12L release for Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 is now available.
  • It features a new UI based on Microsoft's own Fluent design language.
  • There are also new fluid animations and pen features, and is 3.2GB in size.

It's finally here! After months of waiting, Microsoft has released its big Android 12L update for the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2, which features an updated user interface that incorporates Microsoft's Fluent design language in many areas of the system, such as the notification shade, Settings app, and Microsoft Launcher activity feed.

Android 12L for Surface Duo also introduces a new Pen menu feature, which functions similarly to the Pen menu on Windows 11 by clicking the top button on a Surface Slim Pen 2 to reveal a quick launch panel for four apps of your choice. The new pen menu on Android 12L also shows your pen's battery percentage.

A big theme with this release is UI polish and consistency with Windows 11's current design language. Many areas of the OS, such as the notifications pane and multitasking switcher, now incorporate blur effects, and many gesture animations have been updated to appear more fluid and integrated with the Microsoft Launcher. 

Of course, all the stock Android 12L enhancements are also here, including wallpaper accent color theming, more privacy controls, microphone and camera usage indicators, and more. Interestingly, Microsoft is not adding the Android 12L taskbar experience to Surface Duo.

The update is 3.2GB in size for Surface Duo 2 and 2.6GB for Surface Duo 1

(Note: If you have an AT&T-branded Surface Duo 1 you may have to wait a few days for that update to be greenlit by the carrier.)

You can read more about the update on the official Microsoft Blog

Here's the official changelog:

  • Upgrades the Android operating system to Android 12L for foldable devices. For general information about Android 12, see Android 12 (opens in new tab).
  • Addresses scenario outlined in the Android Security Bulletin—October 2022.
  • New Fluent UI—redesigned Quick Settings and Settings, refreshed Microsoft feed design, new acrylic system effects.
  • Windows accent color styles and dynamic theming based on chosen wallpaper.
  • New Windows inspired wallpaper.
  • Pen menu for Surface Slim Pen 2.
  • Transfer Microsoft Teams meeting through the Time widget.
  • Optimize battery usage and performance for Microsoft Teams through hardware offloading.

How to update Surface Duo / Surface Duo 2

  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Select Settings on your Surface Duo's home screen.
  • Select System.
  • Select System Update.
  • Select Check for update.
  • Select Restart now.
Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.