Microsoft first introduced the world to its upcoming foldable devices, the Surface Neo and Surface Duo, back in October of last year. With both the new products expected to launch this year, the company has recently started talking to developers to get their apps optimized for these new devices.
Today, at the Microsoft 365 Developer Day, Microsoft is revealing more about dual-screen experiences on Windows 10X. The company is detailing how developers can start building dual-screen experiences for Windows 10X, which powers the Surface Neo, and other dual-screen Windows devices.
As promised, Microsoft is releasing the Windows 10X emulator today. Developers can now download and install the new Microsoft Emulator to start developing and testing apps for Windows 10X. “We focused on creating an emulator experience that behaves naturally and adapts to the different device postures,” said Microsoft.
The company also detailed three different dual-screen patterns that developers can follow to design apps for these new dual-screen devices, and that’s obviously not only limited to Windows 10X. These dual-screen patterns apply to Windows, Android, Web. These patterns mostly focus on taking advantage of the dual-screen form factor, highlighting the benefits of having that extra screen with things like natural multi-tasking. The company showed off PicsArt’s Windows 10 app that will adapt to the dual-screen devices by having the artboards in one screen and the tools in another.
Windows 10X’s new Wonder Bar feature is getting highlighted today as well, and it is a lot like MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar — just bigger. Wonder Bar will show things like the picture-in-picture mini previews from apps like Netflix, etc. “This feature enables the familiarity of a laptop while increasing productivity by hosting system-provided input accelerators, and a virtual trackpad for precision mouse input,” said Microsoft.
As for Win32 apps, Microsoft is introducing a new Win32 container in Windows 10X — more details here.
Microsoft is also showing off how developers can make dual-screen apps using the new dual-screen SDK for Xamarin.Forms. The new SDK includes a TwoPaneView control and APIs that make it easier for developers to build dual-screen apps for both Windows 10X and Android. Along with the new SDK, Microsoft is introducing a new dual-screen module for React Native that will allow developers to add support for dual-screen devices to their React Native apps (for both Android and Windows 10X)