Microsoft says it will roll out the Android 11 Update for the 1st gen Surface Duo by the end of this year

Sep 24, 2021
Mobile Computing

Microsoft announced its new Surface Duo 2 a couple of days ago. But let's not forget the first gen foldable. It was launched in August 2020, and was priced starting at $1399 for the base variant with 128 GB of storage, while the 256 GB model was available for $1499.

Android 11 Update for Microsoft Surface Duo to release this year

That is a pretty expensive device, wouldn't you agree? When Microsoft unveiled the foldable, it promised that it would support the dual-screen device with 3 years of OS updates and security patches. It has been over a year after since the 1st-gen Surface Duo was released, and the premium foldable is still running on Android 10. You read that right. The device did get some security updates, but it wasn't updated to the latest and greatest that Android had to offer.

The lack of 5G, NFC, a small battery and the other technical flaws aside, the foldable was criticized for having rather buggy software which made it difficult to use. Microsoft tried to attract more buyers by slashing the price of the device by 50% a few months ago (still available at the official store), but it merely left the early adopters fuming.

Android 11 includes some useful features for foldable devices, including hinge angle detection and native dual-screen apps (full screen). So you can see why it's not just important to be on the latest version, but also because the Surface Duo has been missing out on useful functions.

Rumors suggested that the Android 11 Update for the Surface Duo would be rolled out in the Summer of 2021, but that came to no avail. And now, we finally have an official word regarding the situation. A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to The Verge that the Surface Duo will be updated to Android 11 before the end of this year. For context, it is worth mentioning that Android 12 is about to go official in the first week of October, while the Surface Duo will be getting an update for an already outdated operating system.

If you take a look at mid-range offerings from the likes of Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, Xiaomi/Redmi/Poco, you may notice that several phones that cost a third of the Surface Duo's price had been updated to Android 11, within a few months after Google announced the new version last year. If we are talking about expensive devices, Apple provides updates for its iPhones, iPads and Mac systems for 5-6 years. Granted that the number of Apple devices are fewer compared to the hundreds of models that cause the Android screen to be fragmented, timely updates are something that users like to see on any device. My Apple iPad 9th gen (2017) which shipped with iOS 10 received iOS 11, 12, 13, 14 and recently got the iPadOS 15 update. How is that for quality customer support?

Microsoft should have not only released Android 11 by now, but also should have been working on a preview version of Android 12 and ironing out the bugs in preparation for the stable release. But given the rather poor support that we have seen so far, should we dare to question when, or if at all Android 12 will be released for the device?

Are you a Surface Duo owner? How do you feel about this?

Android 11 Update for Surface Duo will arrive by the end of this year
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Android 11 Update for Surface Duo will arrive by the end of this year
Microsoft says it will update the Surface Duo to Android 11 by the end of 2021.
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