New pen-hover indicator and more come with Microsoft's fresh pen SDK preview

Surface Duo Pen Headphones
Surface Duo Pen Headphones (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The alpha4 version of Microsoft's pen SDK preview is releasing this week.
  • It brings a new pen-hover indicator, smoother lines, and other changes.

Microsoft has released a small announcement directed at Android developers, revealing that the pen SDK preview's alpha4 version arrives this week. The changes help enhance the SDK's ability to help developers utilize drawing in their apps via touch or pen.

Because the Microsoft Surface Duo is able to detect incoming pen tips, InkView now has the capability to display a visual indicator that reflects the ink color and pen size of the pen near the screen. You can flip your pen around to use the eraser, and there will be an eraser indicator present.

New Hover Indicator

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Line smoothness has also been upgraded in this release. Now lines are smoother than they previously were (this change can be evidenced in the above picture).

Based on feedback about supporting older Android versions and developers wanting smaller package sizes, the new pen SDK preview version contains the following two updates: API level 23 and up are now supported, and AAR size has been reduced.

For the full roundup of what the alpha4 version entails, as well as where you can grab it, check out Microsoft's official blog post on the matter. And if you want to learn more about the Surface Duo, check out our review to see if its dual-screen, pen-friendly capabilities are enough to get you interested in the device.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to