What you need to know
- A former Microsoft developer has an ongoing project focused on getting Android 13 onto Surface Duo.
- The project took a major step forward earlier this month and has since received yet another update.
- The Surface Duo now supports foldable device states when running Android 13.
Microsoft's Surface Duo hasn't received a major update in over nine months. The foldable phone still runs Android 12L, even though many devices run Android 13 and are getting ready for Android 14. A former Microsoft developer has called upon himself to get a new version of Android onto Surface Duo.
Thai Nguyen released a test build of Android 13 for Surface Duo earlier this month. Initially, the setup lacked several Duo-specific features, such as handling postures. Nguyen has since shipped an update for the project that fills some of the gaps.
The latest build of the project allows you to disable the hinge gap in settings and adds support for foldable device states. These changes give users more flexibility and improve the overall experience when running Android 13 on Surface Duo.
Here's everything that's new, as listed by Nguyen:
- Remove displaymask feature so apps stop trying to load Surface Duo config and crash.
- Add option to disable Hinge Gap in Settings.
- Add support for foldable device states. - Split screen divider matches hinge size
Before you run out to install Android 13 onto your Duo, note that this is an unofficial build. You could run into issues or brick your device. You should only try it if you are okay with any unintended consequences.
YouTuber Shane Craig shows how to flash Android 13 onto Surface Duo in a recent video.
While the project to get Android 13 onto Surface Duo is fun and admirable, it's not the same as official support from a large corporation. Microsoft hasn't prioritized Surface Duo in a while, so many are looking elsewhere when considering a foldable.
The Pixel Fold has a similar shape to the Surface Duo but without the hinge down the middle. Google also seems keen to support it. While Google has a mixed track record with supporting some products, the company has done well with its Pixel lineup over several years. At minimum, you're going to get more support from Google with the Pixel Fold than Microsoft gave Surface Duo. That's even more true if you're looking at getting a foldable today.
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But Google Pixel Fold doesn't fold the right way, it only folds in on itself and lacks the most important postures. If they could make one with a 360 degree hinge, they might have me (I do like that they kept the Duo aspect ratio and I think the Pixel supports Qi charging (yes?), which would be an upgrade), until then I'll stick with the Duo on an older version of Android as the best phone I've ever used.Reply