September 30, 2020

Leaked Surface Duo renders show pre-loaded Microsoft and Google apps

It also looks like AT&T will carry the device in the US.

Surface Duo open

Credit: Evan Blass
  • Leaker Evan Blass shared new images of the Surface Duo.
  • It appears AT&T will carry the foldable in the US.
  • We also see the Google and Microsoft apps that will likely come pre-loaded with the device.

With Microsoft expected to release the Surface Duo before the end of the year, leaker Evan Blass has shared new images of the upcoming Android foldable. Unsurprisingly, almost nothing about the Duo’s outward appearance has changed since Microsoft announced the device last fall. However, we do see a front-facing flash, which wasn’t there in the first images Microsoft shared of the device.

Surface Duo closed
Surface Duo half open
Surface Duo partly open

Besides the photos, Blass didn’t say much else about the device. However, the title of his Patreon posts suggests AT&T will carry the foldable in the US. It’s possible the Duo could be exclusive to the carrier.

Related: The best foldable phones you can get

While Microsoft’s take on a foldable form factor is nifty, we’ve been more interested to see how the company adapts Android to two displays. We got to see a detailed preview of that earlier in the summer when Windows Central shared a 30-minute video showcasing a recent emulator build of the Duo’s software. The video provides a glimpse at App Groups, a feature that allows you to create a shortcut that launches two apps simultaneously. You can see one of those shortcuts in the renders Blass shared.

The images also give us some clues about the software that may come preloaded with the device. As you can see from the top image, there’s a Google Search bar. Elsewhere, you can see Microsoft mainstays like Edge, OneNote, and Outlook alongside their Google equivalents like Gmail and Chrome. Microsoft obviously wants its apps front and center, but access to Google Play Services means including Google’s software too.

According to journalist Paul Thurrott, Microsoft is holding a virtual Surface briefing on August 12. The company is likely to discuss the Surface Duo at the event. If that ends up the case, we could see Microsoft launch the foldable sooner rather than later.