Microsoft Surface Duo is finally getting Android 11 – but you’ll have to wait

Surface Duo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Duo will get an update to Android 11 sometime in the middle of 2021, according to reports from German outlet Dr Windows.

The news has since been corroborated by Windows Central, and coincides with the imminent release of the dual-screen phone in the UK, Canada, Germany and France in February. 

In a Surface Duo media briefing with Microsoft USA, representatives reportedly spoke of the OS update coming to devices “in summer” of 2021, meaning users can expect Android 11 to arrive on the Surface Duo anytime between June and August of this year.

The Surface Duo was originally released back in September 2020 in the US, when it was promised the device would receive regular software updates. Microsoft hasn’t been entirely forthcoming with that promise in the months since, but the news that Android 11 will be coming to the Surface Duo is welcome considering its imminent widespread availability. 

A long time coming

Apparently, the reason behind the delay is an important one.

Microsoft and Google have allegedly teamed up to port all developments related to dual screen operation into the Android core – suggesting that many of the changes Microsoft has made to improve the dual displays of the Surface Duo will also make their way into Android's code. 

In theory, this will make the functionality available to other Android manufacturers, which is good news for the likes of LG and Asus but, it would seem, rather frustrating for Surface Duo owners who had hoped for a degree of exclusivity with their device.

In any case, a mid-year release date seems a tad excessive given Microsoft has been working on the update since June of last year – before the Surface Duo even became available in the US. The software giant even bought Movial, the company that was originally developing Android for the device. At least it’s on it’s way, we suppose.

Via GSMArena 

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.