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Microsoft’s Windows-flavored Android 12L arrives on the Surface Duo

Microsoft’s Windows-flavored Android 12L arrives on the Surface Duo


The Android 12L update introduces some design tweaks that make the Surface Duo and Duo 2 look more like a Windows device

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Surface Duo UI changes
Image: Microsoft

The Microsoft Surface Duo and Duo 2 are getting Windows-like UI tweaks, as well as the improvements that come with Android 12L, an operating system built specifically for devices with larger screens. In an update on its blog, Microsoft shared some of the changes coming to its folding phone, which include revamped icons, colors, and controls made to look as if they’re on a Windows device.

We first heard Android 12L’s coming to the Surface Duo back in March, and after some testing, the update is rolling out on Surface Duo devices now. According to Microsoft, the refreshed look extends to the Duo’s Quick Settings and System Settings menus, as well as the Pen menu that appears when using the Surface Slim Pen 2.

Just like on a standard Windows device, the Pen menu will display up to four app shortcuts that you can jump into as soon as you pick up your Pen. Microsoft’s also rolling out four new wallpapers to align with the desktop backgrounds available on Windows 11.

With the shift to Android 12L, the Surface Duo and Duo 2 are getting new conversation widgets that let you pin certain chats on the home screen, as well as accessibility improvements with better magnification options and brightness and color management. It also introduces Android 12L’s new privacy dashboard, along with a streamlined way to transfer data from another Android or iPhone using Wi-Fi or a cable connection.

Update October 24th, 3:37PM ET: Updated to clarify the update’s coming to both the Surface Duo and Duo 2.