There have been two distinct directions in the way forward regarding mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers that are of the “folding” variety. Currently there is the full-foldable touchscreen tech wherein a screen can fold and unfold to reveal a larger uninterrupted display of content. But an alternate approach is the “dual-screen” system, wherein two separate screens are put together by a hinged joint, but where touchscreen interaction carries over from one screen to another (dragging an app icon from left screen to right). It is this design that Microsoft is focusing on with their upcoming dual-screen Surface devices.
And according to The Verge, Microsoft is now giving mobile software developers an opportunity to test their new apps for compatibility with their dual-screen approach for the releasing-this-year Surface Duo smartphone and the Surface Neo tablet. Both gadgets were first introduced by Microsoft in October of last year, and with the dual-screen setup there are certain display quirks that mobile developers must consider so that their apps will display correctly. There is also the matter of different operating systems for the Surface Neo and Duo. The larger tablet uses Microsoft 10X, the mobile-optimized variant with dual-screen support; Duo uses Android.
In Microsoft’s Surface dual-screens, an app’s default setting would have it open on only one screen, though users would be able to stretch the app’s size across to straddle both displays whether on dual-portrait or dual-landscape mode. This is only a basic example, as Microsoft hopes mobile developers can push the envelope on dual-screen display potential. A document viewer app for instance can open a multipage document and see consecutive pages of it. It might also be possible to open two apps at once, each operating on a different screen. The applications are said to be endless and Microsoft is looking to get feedback after the developers do their tests.
These developer tests can be underway as soon as they receive the appropriate Surface MOS emulators from Microsoft for them to work with. As of Wednesday, January 22 an Android emulator is ready for developers of apps for the Surface Duo. By February a Windows 10X emulator will be released for Surface Neo developers too. The Win-10X emulator will naturally have native Windows API support which will be an easier to convert for displaying on dual-screen. But these are not exclusive to Microsoft-aligned devs. HP, Asus and Lenovo and similar OEMs are also developing for Windows 10X regarding dual-screen compatibility.
Image from Laptop Mag