Surface Duo's May 2021 Android update is now available (Update: Also for AT&T)

Surface Duo 2020
Surface Duo 2020 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Surface Duo is receiving its May 2021 update.
  • The update is 197 MB and brings the build number to 2021.419.70.
  • The Surface Duo changelog has now been posted (updated).
  • AT&T released the update for carrier-locked Surface Duos on June 9th.

Updated for June 9th: The firmware for AT&T-locked Surface Duos is also now available.

Keeping to its promise of monthly updates, Microsoft is rolling out its May update for unlocked Surface Duo owners. The update brings a combo of the monthly Google security updates for Android (May 5th) and expected OS fixes and optimizations for Surface Duo by Microsoft.

This patch brings the build number from 2021.314.91 to 2021.419.70 (US) / 2021.419.72 (Europe) / 2021.419.71 (AT&T) and it brings the following fixes and improvements:

  • Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin - May 2020.
  • Improves device stability and UI stability.
  • Improves scenario when one screen would turn black while using Surface Duo in book mode.
  • Fixes scenario when a "Double-tap to switch screens" message was appearing when in book mode.
  • Fixes the scenario when using the TalkBack with 3-button navigation where the list of recent apps was showing on the left screen when invoked from the right screen.

The May update is 197 MB, down from April's 338 MB one. However, that April update also brought with it seemingly more bugs and issues as we later reported. Presumably, this update not only addresses those new problems but existing ones as well.

To grab the update yourself, use these steps:

  1. Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Select Settings on your Surface Duo's home screen.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select System Update.
  5. Select Check for update.
  6. Select Restart now.

This update also doesn't contain Android 11, although our latest information suggests it is still planned for sometime later this summer with no firm ETA. Likewise, later towards the 2021 holiday season (e.g., November), we do expect Surface Duo v2 with much-improved hardware like 5G, better cameras, and NFC.

As usual, those with AT&T-branded Surface Duos will likely have to wait a week for carrier approval.

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.