Microsoft’s dual-screen phone will live or die by the apps

We are still hearing news that Microsoft is remaking the phone and that it is based on Android. I already wrote once about some thoughts on joining Android, Google and Microsoft, but there's a lot more history here.

Everything you've tried to get Windows Mobile to work with Windows Phone and then buy Nokia isn't over and Microsoft can't get over it to create an Android phone. The whole story ends here. Because it's not Android that definitely surpasses Windows Phone.

Android is Google's existing CEO, Eric Schmidt, where Microsoft dominated smartphones and virtually became an iPhone alternative.

Schmidt regarded this as a threat that exists in Google because nobody uses Google's phone service if Microsoft wins on mobile. I made a processor video about everything that turned out to be an email evidence of a court case.

Now the table has been rotated 100% and Android is dominant so Microsoft had no choice but to adopt. So it will be building an Android phone or coming out at least in 2020. It's technically true to call it a Surface Duo carburetor, but it's also true that it's headed for developers soon.

But I believe that Microsoft is definitely trying to get a Surface Duo. It is not believed that going out of the door will necessarily succeed. It is far from him. For the duo to succeed both Microsoft and Google each company must achieve what it has failed to achieve several times in the last decade (19459009).

That means letting developers create tablet apps.

If you have a complaint about the size of a bezel, I think the Surface Duo's hardware looks good. Tom Warren and Nilay recorded a Vergecast episode with Microsoft's Panos Panay and reviewed Duo again.

After Tom spent more time, Tom said:

This week has the opportunity to take a closer look at Surface Duo. The first impression was simple. Much smaller than a person. Appears in the picture. You couldn't play with the software on this device, but you could put it in your jeans pocket, and it's the first pocket Surface device. Looks and feels like a small tablet like a mobile phone.

Panay says the hardware is locked. So it will live or die by software. There are a lot of places that can go wrong when looking at the stack. Let's enumerate at a very high level:

1. Can the Android OS handle multiple screens without interruption?

Continue. Google was pleased that Android 10 supported multi-screen devices for months. I found the excitement mysterious because it was the Samsung Galaxy Fold since the only viable device in that category.

The excitement of Google now makes sense. Some of the features built into Fold can actually translate well to Surface Duo. In Fold, Android knows what's open on the small front screen, and can automatically switch and resize on the expanded large internal screen without losing state. This can roughly be interpreted as allowing an app on one side of the Duo to resize or move on both screens.

Google is working to support resizable windows on Android. In previous versions of Android, you had to literally restart the app to resize the window. You need to update your app to support random sizing, but that's not the case anymore. More details below.

1570108015 572 a first look at surface duo microsofts foldable android phone

picture Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

2. Can Microsoft create a custom Android version that doesn't bother me?

Let's believe that Microsoft can solve this. In general, the first attempts made by Android skins made by manufacturers are terrible. But Microsoft has been building this for some time. It has been & # 39; experimental & # 39; with an Android app for a while. In addition to the well-crafted versions of Outlook and Office, we have already deployed custom launcher and various other apps.

To be honest, I have a stake that is too large for Microsoft to solve this problem. In the early days of Android, the skin of Samsung, LG or HTC wasn't enough to sink the phone. It will be that these days.

Finally, the full model of Android is more sophisticated for manufacturer customization. They are no longer "skin" and are deeply modularized and sandboxed without going completely through the OS. Android is designed to make it easy for manufacturers to put their own software without interrupting their core OS.

Android OS update situation is not as good as iOS, but much better than before.

microsofts dual screen phone will live or die by the apps

Photo of Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

3. Will developers update their apps to work elegantly on Surface Duo?

There is a problem here. For the Duo to work, the app must be able to move gracefully from one screen to the other. Or you should be able to move gracefully from a single screen to a screen that spans two screens. Microsoft has invested a little over a year to help developers do that.

The problem is that both Microsoft and Google have a terrible track record in convincing developers to refactor their apps for new form factors. Much less new platform.

Let's start with Google Search for all Android tablet reviews, literally, and see what reviewers have said about app support on the big screen. If you do so, a universal complaint about Android tablets from the start to the present is that most apps look like phone apps that have exploded.

If Google can't let developers improve the app for Android tablets, what is the chance to update the app for the strange new dual-screen Surface Duo phone?

Another example from Google? Unfortunately I did not point out: Chrome OS. Android apps on Chrome OS are far superior to earning credit. But not much to say. Too many will show up in a weird, tiny vertical window that you can't resize like a regular window. The same code that allows for resizing works better on Surface Duo, but few support that feature.

Microsoft has two errors. The first is unfair to keep on raising, but here's something like this: I didn't have an app on Windows Phone, so I bombed it. As a distant third player, it's unfair because the platform was fighting from the start in an uphill battle for developer support.

Still: Windows Phone was a fast, elegant and smart OS, and Microsoft poured a lot of resources to help developers support it. Surface Duo looks like a fast and elegant smart device.

The second failure is a general purpose Windows platform. The Microsoft App Store has great apps. But not enough to be at this point. The fact that even the very cool new Surface Pro X and Surface Neo should include a solution for running classic win32 apps tells you everything you need to know.

This reads as very scary as I declare. No company was on duty, and Surface Duo died upon arrival. I've learned from both failures that I'm a lot better at supporting developers. It's now much easier to create apps that work on different screen sizes on Android.

The most important thing is that Google and Microsoft want to prove that this time they can do it right and there are resources to make it. By chance. Any developer trying to resize their app on Chrome OS should know that it works better on Duo as a result. To be honest, neither company will be ashamed of making money on the matter.

It took a year before the Surface Duo was available. If Microsoft is smart, it will take every minute to convince Android developers to support the new phone.

Others from Microsoft

+ Microsoft doesn't think of Windows Tom doesn't matter anymore.

Tom provides a whip smart analysis of what's happening in Windows. He also solved some of the "Microsoft Graphs" that caught my eye.

Windows is still an important part of Microsoft business, but not the future. Nadella signals that he is focusing on Microsoft Graph, a collection of APIs that connect devices to Microsoft's cloud services and serve as important gateways for Windows, Office 365, and Azure. It seems that Microsoft has partnered with Google to link this graph deeper to Android.

+ Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3 are upgradable, but for a bit

Jay Peters talked about the promises of Kyle Wiens and iFixit with Microsoft. New Surface devices can be repaired more.

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