Surface Duo 2 picks up 3rd party messaging app support for Glance Bar, Slim Pen 2 enhancements, improved charging, and more

Surface Duo 2's enhanced Glance Bar.
Surface Duo 2's enhanced Glance Bar from the June update. (Image credit: Future)
  • The June 8 update is now out for Surface Duo 2.
  • The update is 736MB in size and brings the version to 2022.418.98.
  • The update finally enables support for more messaging apps in Glance Bar.
  • The update also improves Slim Pen 2 and delivers general system improvements, including for the camera.
  • Surface Duo (original) also received a June update that "improves device stability."

Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 update is out for June, and unlike the last two, this one is a big one coming in at 736MB. But besides sheer size, there is also a lot to talk about for new features and improvements.

First up, the Glance Bar is finally getting the ability to support more than just missed calls, SMS, voicemail, and Teams alerts. Users can now add in third-party “conversation apps” like WhatsApp and Telegram with matching icons.

While Glance Bar has been a neat feature, many Duo 2 owners didn’t use it simply because SMS is not used as much as third-party messaging apps these days. While we’d still like to see an “always-on” option for Glance Bar, today’s update is an excellent addition and a clear response to user feedback that we’re happy to see.

New Features

  • Glance Bar shows notifications for 3rd party conversation apps.
  • Enables Haptic feedback control in Camera app settings.
  • Enables Slim Pen 2 automatic firmware update when paired via Bluetooth.
  • Enables Automatic pairing of Slim Pen 2 while inking on either screen (requires Slim Pen 2 to have firmware version 5.133.139 or later and software version 5.148.139 or later).
  • Enables optimized charging to help reduce battery aging by charging the battery gradually overnight.
  • Enables Device Firmware Configuration Interface (DFCI) support to control device usage.

Next up, the Camera app has improved “usability,” which is a bit unclear, but at least it should be either faster or have improved performance. Interestingly, the camera app also supports Haptic feedback, which is an option under the Camera app’s settings.

Slim Pen 2 is also getting more support. The June update brings a few new features, including automatic firmware update and automatic pairing of Slim Pen 2 while inking on either screen. Microsoft notes you need the latest firmware and software for Slim Pen 2 to have this feature work, so luckily, you can now update that through Surface Duo 2 directly. Previously, users had to connect Slim Pen 2 up to a Surface PC to get those updates, which is certainly inconvenient if you don’t own a Surface PC.

Under “nice to have” is new optimized charging. While fast charging is welcomed, it is well known that frequent use of it degrades battery longevity over time. Today’s update lets Surface Duo 2 gradually charges overnight, reducing battery aging.

Fixes for Surface Duo 2

  • Improves device stability.
  • Improves system performance.
  • Improves touch responsiveness.
  • Improves camera usability.
  • Improves in-app camera experience in dual-screen mode for applications with dynamic orientation requirements.

There is also something about “Enables Device Firmware Configuration Interface (DFCI) support to control device usage,” which is an enterprise feature for mobile device management.

Finally, there are the usual system improvements. Those unspecified improvements include stability, performance, responsiveness, camera usability, and, like Surface Duo 1, “improves in-app camera experience in dual-screen mode for applications with dynamic orientation requirements..”

How to update 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.

Overall, the June update for Surface Duo 2 looks tremendous, and we’re happy to see the continued improvement and addition of new features to the dual-screen Android phone. While Android 12L is still not expected until closer to fall, this update should hold people over for the next few months before that significant OS update (which should also come to the original Surface Duo).

Surface Duo (original) also updated

Microsoft is also pushing out a small update for the original Surface Duo

While no new features are delivered it does bring the usual monthly Android security update, but also "improves device stability," which is always welcomed. That update brings the software up to version 2022.418.56.

Thanks, VincibleAndy, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.