Windows for smartphones may be dead and buried, but its spirit haunts Android – Microsoft has leveraged Android 12L’s advanced theming system to make the interface look more like the Fluent UI that is used on Windows 11. This arrives as a common update for the Microsoft Surface Duo and the Surface Duo 2.
The notification shade, Settings screen and the activity feed in the Microsoft launcher have been restyled to look like their Windows counterparts. This means that icons, colors and UI controls have been unified with the Windows style. Many areas of the interface also feature blur, which is also part of the Windows design language.
The new software includes the wallpapers that are available on Windows and brings matching accent color options to complete the look:
The Surface Slim Pen 2 (which is supported on the Duo 2) now has similar functionality as on Surface PCs – you can tap the button on top to reveal a quick launch bar with shortcuts for relevant apps.
Microsoft Teams got a couple of upgrades too – you can now transfer a Teams meeting through the Time widget, also performance and battery usage were improved by offloading the heavy lifting to hardware acceleration.
Additionally, the new conversations widgets let you put certain chats on the home screen. Another new widget shows photos from OneDrive.
All the usual Android 12L improvements are on board as well, including status bar indicators for the camera and microphone, plus a privacy tracker that keeps a list of apps that have used the camera or microphone or accessed your location in the last 24 hours.
To install Android 12L Surface Duo owners are looking at a 2.6GB download, Duo 2 users will be downloading 3.2GB instead. The updates also include the October security patch. Go to System > System Update to see if the gradual rollout has reached your unit.