Microsoft has released a new update for the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2, which brings Android 12L and a completely new visual refresh reminiscent of Windows 11.

Microsoft says the new user interface updates focus on building stronger connections between Windows and Duo, driving familiarity using visuals and coherence without sacrificing performance.

Visual refresh

The update features a unified iconography with Windows 11, and similar colors and UI controls. The visual alignment culminates in Surface Duo’s ‘Quick Settings’ and ‘System Settings.’

Powered by Android 12L’s new dynamic theming engine, users can personalize their experience with colour palettes applied across the system, based on their selected wallpaper. As a part of the OS update, Surface Duo will feature four additional wallpapers that align with new Windows desktop backgrounds, offering tailored accent colour options that bring the vibrancy of Windows to Android.

Surface Duo in Sandstone

With Android 12, users personalize the look and feel of the entire OS and system apps with dynamic theming. This feature allows for switching wallpapers – and further adjusting the colour palette extracted from the wallpaper – to match user preference.

Pen menu

Pick up your Surface Slim Pen 2 and jump into your favourite inking app from a short, customizable menu familiar to Windows. Surface Slim Pen 2 works on Surface PCs and Surface Duo 2 – and it’s automatically paired the first time you touch the screen.

Video of Pen in action

A better experience enabled by Android 12L

Android 12 provides a more personalized, responsive and inclusive experience with a refreshed UI that dynamically adapts to a customer’s wallpaper, feels more responsive to touch with fluid animations, and comes with additional tools for accessibility.

Updated widgets

In addition to redesigned widgets that are more performant and coherent in their style, Android 12 introduces new conversations widgets for staying in touch with people you care about. For example, the new Photos widget from OneDrive is a beautiful addition customers can include on the feed. Additionally, Microsoft has already updated the Glance Bar to support conversation notifications.


Android 12 improves accessibility with a more spacious design for UI elements, contrast optimizations and new visibility features from magnification to brightness and color management.


Android 12 introduces a new Privacy dashboard that keeps track of camera, microphone and location usage by apps for the past 24 hours. Camera and microphone use is now actively indicated in the status bar at all times, both of which can be directly disabled or enabled from new toggles in Quick Settings. Android 12 also puts the customer in control over location accuracy per app, letting them choose between precise and approximate accuracy based on preferences.

Switch from any phone

Transferring data, even from an iPhone, is made easier with the Android 12 update. Plug in a cable or connect to Wi-Fi to transfer all your essentials from your previous device during the initial setup process.

The Surface team believes the updates to the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 will build stronger connections between your Windows 11 PC and your Duo device, making your everyday usage easier, saying the more aligned your devices, the less energy you devote to switching between them, giving you more space to focus on the task at hand.