back to article Don't mention the seam! Microsoft releases Surface Duo Android SDK, more on Windows 10X

Microsoft has released a preview SDK for its forthcoming Android Surface Duo device, and has confirmed a Developer Day on February 11th when the SDK for the Windows dual-screen Surface Neo will be previewed. The dual-screen tablet, running a new version of Windows called 10X, and Surface Duo, running Android, were unveiled …

  1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Move over apple...

    This, unlike the ipad, is quite literally a revolutionary product, as it has the new Microsoft Alphabet™, complete with two less letters. Now you can write those emails even faster!

    In all seriousness though, i bet Microsoft plans to sell the missing keyboard letters as some kind of DLC, or microtransaction.

    1. jonathan keith Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Move over apple...

      Fewer! Two fewer letters!

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Move over apple...

        ou are technicall correct, the est kind of correct.

        It ma e only a eta release ut I am reall happ aout it - it's a rilliant new idea.

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Move over apple...

        I couldn't write "fewer" at the time as my Google keyboard was missing the letter "F".

    2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: Move over apple...

      The whole thing is rather unseamly.

  2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    By by byeeeeeeeeee

    ...a prompt with missing letters

    Missing letters in the prompt text?

    How about just missing letters period?

    The B and Y on the keyboard itself are nuked by the seam...!

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: By by byeeeeeeeeee

      The B and Y on the keyboard itself are nuked by the seam...!

      That's to keep you from saying (or typing) "BYE".

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10X?

    So Windows 10 10 then (allowing for the convention)

    So good they named it twice.

  4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    I've seen plenty of dialogue boxes in Android where the keyboard pops up and covers the submit button - and Android doesn't have the button to get rid of the keyboard that iOS has on the bottom right, so it's a bugger to fill in the form and submit it sometimes. So it's not like this problem is unique.

    Or those fucking annoying websites with floating banners that slide down, and then when your keyboard pops up, you're left with precisely one line in which to see the text you're entering. Often a line that's about 3 words long. Mobile UIs are still a bit of a mess, even with bigger screens.

    Although having defended MS, I still struggle to see the point of this. Doing the two screens thing with one being a sort of keyboard is horrible, in comparison to a laptop, and is the extra screen real estate actually that useful in a protable device? If you need all that info available at once, you're probably better off at a desktop with multiple screens. Not that I'm saying nobody will want it. Just that it looks like a solution in search of a problem. Something shiny for the sake of it, rather than something to solve a burning need.

    Whereas a phone that unfolds into a decent sized tablet is obviously a useful thing. I'm just not sure we've got the tech to currently do it well.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

      "Android doesn't have the button to get rid of the keyboard that iOS has on the bottom right"

      Android has a button for this - it's the back button. Have you ever used Android?

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

        And how many phones removed both physical and GUI back buttons!!!

        1. big_D Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

          And replaced them with swipe gestures... :-S

          (we need a double slap-head icon)

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

          "And how many phones removed both physical and GUI back buttons!!!"

          If you don't know what you're talking about and haven't used Android, then please don't spew obvious shite and act all smug. You'll just look like an idiot.

          And btw, i'm aware that tapping on the screen is also another way to get rid of the keyboard.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        SERIOUSLY DEVELOPERS, stop designing invisible controls.

        Ah yes, those unlabeled and invisible gestures and controls that are all the craze these days.

        My mom might have tried to google the answer but she couldn't get off the screen to google the answer. Poor dear will probably have to pop over to the neighbors house to call me on someone else's phone.

        Or maybe she just keeps buying new phones?

      3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

        Tigra07,

        Thanks for the advice. Despite the unhelpful sarcasm. Yes, I’ve used Android a bit. It’s still not as good a UI as Windows Phone, but it won so it's either Google or Apple now.

        The back button isn’t exactly an obvious but of UI though. What I actually did was turn the screen to landscape, scroll sideways and then I could just get a fingernail on the edge of the button I needed.

        The downvotes are all a it sad though, I thought we were passed the days of tragic fanboyism...

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

          "The back button isn’t exactly an obvious but of UI though"

          The back button literally changes shape when the keyboard is on screen buddy. If you can't spot that then you haven't used Android. And yes, it's been like that for years.

          I can't headslap any harder than this or you may hear it from your current location.

          Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/32755987/change-back-to-on-screen-back-button-when-soft-keyboard-is-open-in-android

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

            Tigra 07,

            The back button literally changes shape when the keyboard is on screen buddy. If you can't spot that then you haven't used Android.

            Oh yes, so it does. Oops! I'd never noticed that before. The reason I hadn't noticed though, isn't that I've not used Android, it's because I only have 5% of normal vision. And the 5x magnifiaction required for on my reading glasses means they can only focus on a small part of it. So a small difference between an arrow pointing a different way is easy to miss unless I'm looking for it.

            I'd still argue that it's not the best bit of UI design, because it relies on people noticing unobvious changes. And doesn't even do anyhing to make it noticeable, such as changing the colour (or filling it in as a solid block instead of an outline). And also the few tips that Android gives you when you set up a new phone (as I did last month) are all about pointing out the notification shade and the various places you can swipe from to control the major bits of the UI.

            I seriously doubt that non-techy people who can see properly notice that sort of subtle control change either - given my experience of teaching friends to use their computers over the last 30 years - I'm pretty confident I'm right about this.

            As for your headslapping, feel free if it makes you happy. Personally I find that being a bit more polite and respectful makes social interaction a lot more pleasant...

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

              Fair point about your vision. But then, if you can't see something, it doesn't mean it's not there, and makes all your arguing about it irrelevent.

              "I'd still argue that it's not the best bit of UI design, because it relies on people noticing unobvious changes."

              There's other ways to get rid of the keyboard, as me and someone else has pointed out, and now you know them. I know you said your eyesight was an issue, but this is pointless to argue over as now you've learned how to hide the keyboard. Google would have been faster in future, rather than arguing.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

                I do know now. Which is good - for me. But no bloody use to the millions of other people who use them and haven't worked it out. It's no good giving your device an ability, if nobody can work out how to use it. In this sense Windows Phone was also quite bad because the back button has too many jobs and behaves inconsistently.

                In my opinion Apple have this one right. Where if you need a back button, it's an arrow on the top right of the screen you're in.

                I'd been using an old Droid as an mp3 player (on about v6 I think), where the back button is on the right hand side of the screen instead of the left. But Android is inconsistent in other ways - so some apps have that back arrow at top right. Sometimes pressing the back button just takes you out of the app to the home screen, other times it takes you back a step within the app. Although some of that may be down to the app makers and not Google of course.

                You really need to take criticism of Android less personally. I'm sure Google can cope that I'm occasionally rude about some of the things they do.

                1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                  Re: RE: You ain't Spartacus! I'm Spartacus!

                  > You really need to take criticism of Android less personally.

                  But your post wasn't an actual 'criticism of _Android_'.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Headmaster

      My stock Android phone has a "minimize" soft button for the keyboard. It's on the bottom left below the comma on my layout.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    It like a crippled tablet with a big section of dead pixels down the middle when opened out as two screens. So apart from a few business users who might want to have two apps open running side by side. I can't really see two screens with a seam down the middle catching on with the consumer market.

    You couldn’t use it for any sort of media like games, video etc as the seam would be just to much of a distraction. Well maybe some old Nintendo DS games could be ported over but even then I found the 2nd screen was often not really needed on a lot of DS games.

    1. Corporate Scum

      Failed before they started

      Because their holding it wrong.

      Gaming on one of these would be a breeze if you rotate it 90 degrees. One wide screen aspect ration screen to (mostly) fit existing game and media content, and one screen to be occupied by controls for said game, along with secondary stuff that normally blocks half the main screen with HUD elements.

      But as usual, some well placed and well meaning idiot convinced them that vertical split mode was in some way the right and natural way to operate a dual screen device. By mandating that as the default mode you ensure that, by default, all content loaded on the device looks like crap and is probably broken as well. Unless of course every single content developer tailors their code to "fix" the display. Which most won't.

      This one decision can single-handedly doom this platform to a slow but inevitable demise. Microsoft makes it unlikely that this will be the only mistake, but this one by itself will do the job.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Come on, you turn it sideways and you can watch Crunchyroll on one screen and Funimation in the other... (especially fun if you run the subbed and dubbed versions of the same episode).

      But the big problem is if you want to use a physical keyboard with them in landscape mode. You'd have to have some tall extender to hold the two screens up. I guess that's where you'd fold them in laptop-mode and do a soft-keyboard on the second screen.

  6. BGatez Bronze badge

    2 pounds of s*** in a 1 pound bag

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Boffin

      I think you meant the more traditional meaning of a blivet- 10 pounds of excrement in a 5 pound bag.

  7. johnnyblaze

    Full fat

    MS have failed so many times now with badly implemented devices, I think they've forgotten how to succeed. Whatever these devices are, be prepared for another landfill event as MS aim both barrels downwards again. The only thing people associate with Microsoft these days is full fat Windows running on a dusty old box in the corner that may get switched on once every few months. Everyone else has moved on.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Full fat

      And Azure.

      And XBox.

      And Surface.

      And these modern things called "lap tops"

      1. Old-dog

        Re: Full fat

        None of those are MS innovations.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Full fat

      "a dusty old box in the corner that may get switched on once every few months"

      Your mother lives in her basement with you?

  8. JDX Gold badge

    I find it weird that seemingly the displays are presented to the developer as one screen, with a bunch of 'dead' pixels for the seam? I can see that makes pushing stuff from one to the other work nicely but also raises some limitations.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      AFAIK countless devices do it this way. :/

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Do they? I don't think desktop environments that handle multiple displays do it that way, and the only other computing devices out there with two screens (as far as I'm aware) are folding phones which try to pretend that it's only one screen. So can you name a few of these innumerable devices that implement two screens by pretending to not know that some pixels don't work?

  9. The Real Tony Smith

    Preparing to upgrade Windows..... Press B or Y to cancel.

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