Surface Duo receives its March 2021 Android security and firmware update

Surface Duo March2021 Update
Surface Duo March2021 Update (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Surface Duo is now getting a March Android security update
  • The update is only 82 MB in size, suggesting it is just security and maybe minor fixes.
  • The changelog has not yet been posted detailing fixes or improvements.

Microsoft's Surface Duo appears to be back on track for monthly updates as the March 2021 one is now rolling out to unlocked Duos (AT&T branded ones are usually a week later pending approval).

The update contains Android security patches for the month and likely other fixes and improvements as well. The update is 82.39MB in size, which is slightly bigger than last month's cumulative update, which arrived three weeks ago and was just 66MB.

The update bumps the Surface Duo build number from 2021.115.52 to 2021.207.70 and the security patch to March 5th, 2021.

To check for the update, use the following 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.

Microsoft has not yet shared the changelog for this update, but we'll update this article when that happens.

Update 3/19: The changelog has now been posted:

  • Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin - March 2020.
  • Improves device stability.
  • Improves device performance.
  • Improves Surface Duo UI stability.
  • Improves incoming ring experience with the communication apps.
  • Fixes the experience when dismissing apps in single screen mode which had a delay before showing the home screen.
  • Taking screenshots in single screen mode captures the active screen instead of both.
  • Increases time that the "Double-tap to switch screens" is available to change screens.
  • Fixes the ability to unlock the device using the fingerprint reader when an app is running above the lock screen.
  • Apps that only support portrait orientation can now rotate clockwise when spanning across both screens.

Surface Duo has been receiving many updates for its Launcher and keyboard recently with multiple updates per week. From our own experience, the Launcher has a much more significant impact on gestures, behavior, and smoothness than previously thought, with substantial improvements being observed after each one.

Surface Duo recently went on sale in four new markets including France, Germany, UK, and Canada. And just today, it received support from Xbox Game Pass (Beta) for on-screen controls, which is a killer feature.

For those in the US, a permanent price cut of $400 is now in place six months after the dual-screen device's release.

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.