Microsoft has started shipping the Surface Duo, the company’s very first Android device that was officially announced in late 2019.
Those customers who pre-ordered the dual-screen Android phone received it earlier this week, and since it runs Google’s operating system, it was obviously just a matter of time until it ended up in the car powering Android Auto.
And as we said not a long time ago, the Surface Duo is supposed to provide the fully featured Android Auto experience, simply because it is powered by the same Android version as Google’s or Samsung’s phones.
First and foremost, the Android Auto experience is pretty much the same as with any other Android phone, so the Surface Duo doesn’t bring anything new on this front. But on the other hand, thanks to its design, which also allows for a tablet mode when both displays are open, the Surface Duo also provides you with a second large screen where you can run applications that aren’t supported by Android Auto.
For example, the photos that you see here show Android Auto running on the head unit, while the Surface Duo is used for EV apps. The main drawback here is that the Surface Duo would obviously eat up more space on the console, but on the other hand, you get a significantly increased screen estate with support for any app that is published in the Google Play Store.
Worth knowing is that Microsoft’s Surface Duo comes with Android 10 pre-installed, but the Redmond-based software giant promises the update to Android 11 would be offered rather sooner than later.
Android 11 comes with important improvements for Android Auto, as it unlocks the wireless mode for all devices, as long as a compatible head unit is available.