Microsoft Surface Duo

Microsoft released its 35-minute Microsoft Surface Duo press briefing on YouTube the other day:

I gotta say, the Duo is the first Android phone to make me really want an Android phone. It looks like Microsoft put a lot of thought into the different configurations and uses for the dual-screens.

Being able to use two different apps at once, or span one app across the screens is pretty cool. I also like how a spanned app reconfigures itself to utilize both screens like a multi-window app (think Outlook, with your inbox on the left and the message on the right). The crease/gap in the middle of the device isn't an issue becuase the app isn't stretching itself across both screens.

I don't love the price--$1400--nor that it's using older processors, but it's exciting to see companies trying new things. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and the new RAZR folding phones are gimmicky and silly.

There's also the question of whether many developers will modify their apps to take advantage of the two-screen layout. Android has a lot of apps, but most lack the fit and finish of apps on iOS and devs might not feel like updating them for a device most people won't buy. Especially since most Android users don't pay for their apps.

Still, it's nice to see companies aren’t sitting still. It’s what made the cell phone wars of the late ‘90s/early 2000s so fun. There were so many unique shapes and user experiences.

I just wish they'd bring back the Sidekick.

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