Android 12L for Surface Duo and Duo 2 is now available

The Surface Duo 2 running Android 12L

Microsoft has finally started rolling out the Android 12L upgrade for its dual-screen smartphones. According to the company, the latest release builds "stronger connections between your Windows 11 PC and your Duo device, making your everyday easier."

Besides giving the Surface Duo (currently on sale for a little more than $300) and Duo 2 a version of Android, this month's update delivers a major visual refresh with familiar visuals and coherence. Microsoft says Surface Duo devices now use "aligned visual language" for core system components across Windows and Android, such as unified iconography, colors, and UI controls (as rumored before).

The Surface Duo 2 running Android 12L

The update also introduces a new dynamic theming engine for personalizing the experience with color palettes that apply across the operating system depending on the selected wallpaper or a bunch of new pre-built variants.

Android 12L for the Surface Duo and Duo 2 also features a new Pen menu you can invoke by clicking the shortcut button on the Surface Slim Pen 2 (demonstrated below). The menu provides quick access to your favorite inking apps and the option to take and annotate screenshots.

The Surface Duo 2 next to the Surface SLim Pen 2

Other improvements in Android 12L for Microsoft's dual-screen smartphones include updated widgets, better accessibility with a more spacious design and contrast optimizations, and a new Privacy dashboard that keeps track of camera, microphone, and location usage.

Here are the full changelogs for the Surface Duo and Duo 2:

Surface Duo Surface Duo 2
Software Version 2022.815.152 2022.815.179
Update Info

Upgrades the Android operating system to Android 12L for foldable devices. For general information about Android 12, see Android 12.

Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin—October 2022.

New Surface Duo features:

  • New Fluent UI—redesigned Quick Settings and Settings, refreshed Microsoft feed design, new acrylic system effects.
  • Windows accent color styles and dynamic theming based on chosen wallpaper.
  • New Windows inspired wallpaper.
  • Pen menu for Surface Slim Pen 2. For more info see, Use Surface Slim Pen with Surface Duo.
  • Transfer Microsoft Teams meeting through the Time widget. For more info see, Transfer Microsoft Teams meetings to Surface Duo.

Upgrades the Android operating system to Android 12L for foldable devices. For general information about Android 12, see Android 12.

Addresses scenarios outlined in the Android Security Bulletin—October 2022.

New Surface Duo features:

  • New Fluent UI—redesigned Quick Settings and Settings, refreshed Microsoft feed design, new acrylic system effects.
  • Windows accent color styles and dynamic theming based on chosen wallpaper.
  • New Windows inspired wallpaper.
  • Pen menu for Surface Slim Pen 2. For more info see, Use Surface Slim Pen with Surface Duo.
  • Transfer Microsoft Teams meeting through the Time widget. For more info see, Transfer Microsoft Teams meetings to Surface Duo.
  • Optimize battery usage and performance for Microsoft Teams through hardware offloading.

You can download the update on unlocked variants of Microsoft's smartphones. The update size is 2.6GB for the first-gen Surface Duo and 3.2GB for the Surface Duo 2.

If you want to experience Microsoft's vision of Windows 11-inspired Android 12L but do not want to shell out $1,499 for the Surface Duo 2, you can grab the original Surface Duo for a little more than $300.

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