HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft's Surface Duo Finally Gets Android 12L

Microsoft’s Surface Duo Finally Gets Android 12L

Both the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 are getting the Android 12L update with features specifically for folding phones.


Users of the and have been twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the to get the upgrade to 12L. Well, that update is happening now with the Duo folding smartphones finally getting a newer Android experience.

This means introducing specific Android 12L features designed for folding and dual-screen devices like the Surface Duo.

You may remember the first signs of Android 12L coming to the Duo appeared a year ago. Since then, we have been waiting for the update to arrive. has also been working with Android 12L to add its custom tweaks to the OS.

Specifically, Microsoft has made changes to the System Settings and Quick Settings menus, while the Surface Slim Pen 2 menu has also been improved.

Android 12L Changelog

  • “We also focused on making fundamental interactions easier on larger screens. For example, the lock screen pattern and PIN controls on tablets are now displayed at the side of the screen for easier reach, and users can simply tap the other side of the screen to bring the pin/pattern controls over to that side.
  • For foldables, we optimized the home screen grid and polished the fold-unfold transition, so that users move seamlessly from a single exterior screen to the larger unfolded screen, reinforcing continuity while preserving their choices.
  • On large screens, the notification shade takes advantage of the space by showing Quick Settings and notifications in a new two-column layout. The lock screen also uses a larger two-column layout to highlight notifications and clock, and system apps like Settings are also optimized.
  • 12L adds a new taskbar that makes it easier to launch and switch apps on the fly. Gestures make using the taskbar even faster, with drag and drop to enter split-screen mode and swipe up to go home. In gesture navigation, a quick-switch gesture lets users flip through recent apps. Users can reveal or hide the taskbar at any time with a long press.
  • Running apps in split-screen mode is a popular way of multitasking, and in 12L we've made split screen easier than ever to discover and use. Users can now drag and drop their favorite apps into split-screen directly from the taskbar, or they can also use a new “Split” action in the overview to start split-screen mode with a tap.” says the Android 12L feature drop will arrive early in 2022.

Tip of the day: With a single registry tweak, you can add a ‘Take Ownership' button to the right-click context menu that performs all the necessary actions. You'll gain full access to all possible measures, including deletion, renaming, and more. All files and subfolders will also be under your name.

The Take Ownership context menu will set the currently active user as the owner of the files, though they must also be an administrator. They can then enter the folder or modify the file as they usually would.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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