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While Microsoft’s Surface Phone is likely cancelled, many companies have already announced plans to release book-like laptops where a second screen replaces the keyboard, driven by the need to excite PC buyers and increase average selling prices.
Microsoft has been introducing APIs to accommodate this hardware feature, in the form of the UWP TwoPaneView. This allows developers to create to views of their UWP app which can either be placed side by side or stacked.
Developer Zhyowen Cui has been one of the first to create a dummy app based on the new API, which can be seen below.
Presumably, in an actual dual-pane device the views would be automatically split over the two screens.
Other new APIs let developers know the state of the hinge – be it flat, convex and laptop-like or concave and tent-like, and have their app respond appropriately.
If Asus, Lenovo and others manage to sell a significant number of dual-screen laptops we can see some developers having some success creating applications which take advantage of this unique hardware feature. I suspect even regular Windows tablets would benefit from a presenting some applications on side-by-side panels, so we will hopefully see some uptake of these new APIs in the future.
Do our readers think there is a future for a book-like UI separate from the Surface Phone and the ambitious Andromeda OS? Let us know below.