Following on from the prior post on the Surface Duo this is a short follow up on some App Tips that I have picked up since living with the Duo.
Where are all the duo optimized Apps ? Perhaps we won’t see many until the Duo moves to Android 11 and is able to officially take advantage of the dual screen support built into the Android OS from V. 11 onwards.
Right now the list is the same as I outlined in my prior post but if one looks a little harder there are not only some nice DUO optimized applications but also some Apps that work well on the dual screen of the Duo.
Firstly let’s look at some of the Apps actually built for Duo that most of us have not been able to get our hands on. Microsoft has a bunch of App samples for developers that are fairly fully formed but for which they do not publish or provide the APK’s. The Apps of particular interest to users of the Duo are:
TwoNote: A Note taking App that is optimised for the Duo dual screen
SourceEditor: An Apple which can be used to code HTML on the left screen of the Duo whilst previewing it on the right.
PhotoEditor: A Photo Editing App which takes use of the dual screens
Widget RSS Reader: Displays an RSS feed which when tapped will display on a web browser on the other Duo Screen.
To get access to these Apps you have to download the source and compile them, so that is what I did. You can download the APK’s for these Apps here (and note you do this at your own risk – if you are not comfortable installing third party Apps, which in general from a security viewpoint you should not do, then of course don’t install them !).
There are other less familiar Apps that work well for the Duo. I have cherry picked a few of them below:
Marin Deck is an app that improves the TweetDeck experience for Twitter and it works really nicely on the dual screen duo with each column appearing on each screen.
Flynx can store Web pages whilst you are surfing and clicking links. It pops up a little bubble that you can click on later. When you click on it, it automatically opens the pages you saved in dual screen view, not by design I think as it seems to not have been updated in a while but again it works really nicely on the Duo.
Kloa is note taking app that save plain text notes but works in a liked fashion in which the note can have details. Picture embeds also work and when I dual mode it again works very nicely on the Duo.
If you are using the Duo as a secondary device to your phone you should consider Join. It enables you to receive notifications, SMS’s and call alerts on the Duo from your main device (it’s from the same developer as Tasker).
PDF is essentially a sophisticiated DNS Ad & Malware Blocker but on the Duo it also blocks the Telemetry call outs that the Duo makes frequently ! It is transparent and works in the background once configured. It’s community driven, open source and the Ad blocking, malware DB is updated frequently (and if you are security conscious you should also consider ‘Bouncer’ which enables you to assign temporary app permissions).
Finally a game for a bit of frivolous fun ! This Air Hockey Game switches to tablet mode but it splits across the dual screens nicely and can provide a little bit of fun during lockdown !
I am sure many of you have discovered apps that work surprisingly well on the dual screen Duo so feel free to let us others know in the post comments.