Last month, Microsoft revealed that they were entering the foldable device market, with two new Surface dual-screen devices: Neo and Duo. Surface Neo includes two 9” screens that unfold into a 13” display, while Surface Duo has two 5.6” screens that unfold into an 8.3” display.
As part of this announcement, the company also revealed a new operating system, Windows 10X, that is designed for dual-screen devices.
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Now, the company is providing guidelines and advice for developers looking to develop for these types of devices. According to Microsoft, there are two stages for optimizing apps for dual screen devices: 1) making sure that websites and apps work and 2) embracing dual-screen experiences.
Microsoft stated that developers will not have to start from scratch on these devices. “Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for your existing websites and apps to work well on dual-screen devices,” Kevin Gallo, corporate vice president of the Windows Developer Platform, wrote in a post.
Developers can use existing investments and tools for Web, UWP, and Win32 on the Surface Neo. Surface Duo will bring together Android apps, OS, and Surface hardware. According to Microsoft, current websites and Android apps will continue to work on a single screen. Developers will also be able to stay in their current workflows and use their existing tools.
The next stage is to embrace dual-screen experiences. It is currently working on “identifying key postures and layouts across dual-screen and foldable PCs so that you can take advantage of both.”
For native app development, it will introduce a common model. The common model will be built on top of existing tools and frameworks for Windows and Android. The APIs used to access this model will be tailored to the operating system’s developer platform.
According to Microsoft, the web will continue following a standards-based model. It will work to create the right web standards and APIs that will allow web developers to take advantage of cross-platform dual-screen capabilities.