Microsoft’s Surface lineup of Windows 10 2-in-1s, laptop, and all-in-one have come a long way since the first Surface tablet was introduced in 2012. The machines have had their share of issues but Microsoft has also worked diligently to fix them over the years. In addition, the company has tried to offer additional value to the machines, such as a Surface app that helps configure some important settings.
Now, Microsoft updated that Surface app to add some nice new functionality for anyone who connects a Microsoft accessory to their Surface machine. OnMSFT reports you will want to look for version 23.0.602.0 of the Surface app to gain the ability to easily check the battery level of your connected devices.
First, note that the new Surface app functionality only applies to Microsoft Bluetooth accessories. We confirmed that two devices work with the new Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID and the Surface Pen. Other devices confirmed to be supported include the Microsoft Surface Keyboard and the Surface Mouse. We confirmed that non-Microsoft Bluetooth devices, such as the Brydge 12.3 keyboard accessory, do not show up in the Surface app.
To use the new functionality, first head over to the Windows Store and make sure you are running the most recent version. If not, update it.
Then, open the Surface app and head to the new battery icon on the left-hand side. Click on it and you will see your Microsoft Bluetooth devices that are both paired with the Surface device and also currently turned on and connected. Our Surface Pen ran out of battery life while this article was being written and it disappeared from the list. We assume it will show up again once we have installed a new battery and connected it again.
Today, the Surface app is not quite as useful as it once was. It used to be the place to go to configure a number of Surface Pen settings, for instance, but now most of those have made their way to the main Windows 10 Settings app. In addition to now being able to check the battery life of a connected Microsoft Bluetooth accessory, the Surface app remains the place to go to set your Surface Pen pressure sensitivity.
It is possible that Microsoft will eventually migrate all of these settings to the main Settings app. For now, however, the Surface app becomes a useful tool for keeping an eye on your Microsoft accessories to make sure you know when they need a charge or a fresh set of batteries.