What you need to know
- Sync for Reddit is a popular third-party Android app for viewing the reddit website.
- A recent update adds dual-pane support for devices like Surface Duo.
- The update is currently in the $4.99 Sync for Reddit (Dev) release but will come to the free version in the coming weeks.
Google's Android 12L is still months from being released, and with it comes official APIs for developers to begin making apps optimized for foldable and dual-screen devices and larger tablets. However, developers can get a head start with some existing tools, which is why many of Microsoft's own apps already support dual-pane layouts for Surface Duo 2.
One popular Reddit app, Sync for Reddit, just had dual-pane support added to the Dev version. Just released within the last day, version v22.3.14 brings dual-pane and tablet mode support options. The changelog is as follows for the new tablet feature:
- Added support for a new tablet mode with side navigation rail
- Added support for dual pane in landscape
- Added tabbed comments!
- The account picker is now much smaller
- Settings now respect the dual-pane mode
When combined with Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2's auto-span support for selected apps, users can open Sync for Reddit into full screen, the dual-pane mode automatically. The experience is quite good, too, as the app has much smoother scrolling than something like Relay (another popular Reddit app for Android).
Of course, there could still be refinements. For example, if you hold an image to view, it only appears on a single screen, which is the expected experience for a dual-paned phone. However, it opens a full-screen image with the Duo's gutter cutting it in half if you tap it. Users have already submitted a request to choose the first behavior instead.
Reddit and Sync for Reddit are great examples of services/apps that can benefit from a dual-screen experience as users tend to open Reddit and spend minutes, if not hours, in it, scrolling, reading, commenting, sharing, and more. These immersive experiences, like Amazon Kindle, or Microsoft Outlook, make sense to be optimized for tablets and foldable phones going forward.
While Sync for Reddit is free (with in-app purchases), the dev version is $4.99 with the twist that you get the latest version and new features much quicker along with an ad-free experience. As the dual-pane part is optimized, along with the other changes in v22.3.14, and there are no bugs, the features will move to the beta version and free production version of Sync for Reddit in the coming weeks.
Android 12L is slated for Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 "later this year," according to Google.