Surface Duo Pen HeadphonesSource: 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 IndicatorSource: 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).

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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.

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