Microsoft announced a new Surface Duo 2 this week that’s shipping with Android 11, and now the company is committing to release the OS update for original devices this year. “We remain committed to providing updates to Surface Duo, and we’re working to bring Android 11 to existing customers before the end of this year,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.
That’s not a firm release date, but then we’ve never had one for Android 11 on the Surface Duo. Previous reports suggested it would land in the summer, but as we move closer to fall and there was no mention at Microsoft’s Surface event, it’s clearly taking longer than expected.
We’re still waiting to hear exactly what Android 11 on the Surface Duo will bring. Android 11 has native support for dual-screen devices like the Duo, so it should improve some of the software experiences on the device. During our brief look at the Surface Duo 2, it seems like Android 11 brings minor tweaks to Microsoft’s multitasking system, rather than an overhaul. The Surface Duo 2 now defaults to assuming that the right-hand screen is the primary one, but it’s not clear if that same change will come to the original Surface Duo.
While Microsoft has shipped a number of updates for the Surface Duo, it has still remained a fairly buggy device. Surface Duo users have complained of regular issues with multitasking and gestures, a screen turning off during book mode, and lockups using the fingerprint reader.
Android 11 will now arrive just as Google moves on to Android 12. We’re expecting Android 12 to debut on Pixel devices imminently, and it’s not clear when the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 will be updated. Microsoft has previously committed to three years of OS and security updates for the Surface Duo.