Folding ‘Andromeda’ device could be Microsoft’s iPhone moment

Leaks might suggest that Microsoft’s long-rumored Andromeda device could be announced later this year, but we still don’t know very much about it. We’ve seen patents in the past that suggest it will be a hinged dual-screen device, but a patent filing made public today illustrates not only how it could look, but also how it could work — and how it could fit into your life.

Microsoft Andromeda

Most of the time, patent filings include tons of diagrams and drawings that tend to obfuscate more than they illustrate, but in this case, Microsoft has given us a clear look at how the device functions and how big it will be. As you can see here, the Andromeda device is clearly not a full-size laptop or even tablet-sized device, but rather something you can slip into your pocket.

microsoft andromeda patent sneak peek microsoftandromeda3

With two displays, it’s something of a spiritual successor to the canceled Microsoft Courier device. But it has more in common with modern smartphones than Courier-era tablets. This way, Microsoft is positioning itself to compete with the Apple iPhone and Google Pixel more than the iPad or PixelBook.

Microsoft Andromeda

When the device is folded open flat, it appears to be about the size of a small tablet, slightly larger than the most recent Samsung Galaxy Note, but still smaller than the 10.5-inch iPad. That could mean it would be a great device for reading books, comics, and full-size webpages, but also give you more keyboard real estate than you would get on a normal smartphone.

Microsoft Andromeda

In this image, we can see that it appears to have some laptop 2-in-1 DNA in its design. Not only would you use this device in handheld mode, or laid flat, but also folded in a sort of ‘display mode’ for something like an alarm clock — or maybe even some Windows and Xbox exclusive games? If the device has Bluetooth, which it most certainly would, it could connect wirelessly to Xbox One controllers and might end up providing a bit of competition to the Nintendo Switch as a handheld gaming device.

More than anything else, this patent filing illustrates that we don’t really have a category that comfortably applies to the Andromeda device — and that is likely part of Microsoft’s plan. When this device hits the market, there won’t be anything else like it, and that gives Microsoft a significant advantage over its competitors. Just like the iPhone did for Apple when it first came out.

Social Media

Instagram feature that lets you reshare others’ posts may be on its way

Despite constant calls from many of its billion-plus users, Instagram has always refused to offer an option that lets Instagrammers reshare others' posts that appear on their feed. New reports suggest this could be about to change.
Computing

What to expect from Microsoft’s October 2 Surface event

The October 2 Surface event is just around the corner. Let's take a look at everything Microsoft could unveil at the event, including major announcement for new Surface products, unique accessories, and long-sought Windows 10 features.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T may launch soon with in-display fingerprint sensor, dual cameras

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.
Social Media

How to turn off Snapchat’s location-based Snap Map

Thanks to an opt-in feature added last year, Snapchat may be sharing your location with friends whenever you open it. Here, we'll walk you through how to turn off said feature off and regain some peace of mind.
Computing

Detangle your desk with these mighty wireless mice

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. Here are six models that will give everyone what they need, whether they're hardcore gamers or looking to ward off carpal tunnel.
Computing

It's not all free money. What to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.
Computing

How Razer forged the Blade 15, the slim gaming laptop nobody else could build

With the recent launch of the Blade 15, Razer ushered in a new design language that's cleaner and more angular. We recently visited Razer's San Francisco, California design studio to learn more about Razer's approach to design.
Computing

Bing, Windows search evolve into new, cross-platform Microsoft Search

Microsoft is upgrading its various search tools to provide more contextual help for those seeking it. Bing, Office, and Windows search will all be upgraded over the coming months to provide much more nuanced results.
Computing

U.N. security blunder left secret Trello boards, Google Docs exposed

United Nations documents were left vulnerable to unauthorized users by staffers who left Trello boards and Google Docs unprotected and accessible to anyone who had their unique URLs.
Computing

Back for the boardroom, Microsoft outlines the future of the Surface Hub

With the Surface Hub 2 still on the horizon, Microsoft announced two additional versions of its digital whiteboard, the Surface Hub 2S and 2X, to attendees of their 2018 Ignite developer conference.
Computing

Here's how to install the free MacOS Mojave update now

Apple's newest operating system has finally arrived, and we'll show you how to download MacOS Mojave for free. After you install Mojave, you'll be able to take advantage of new apps ported from iOS, a dark theme, and more.
Computing

Chrome 69 logs you in without consent, but Google says it’s for your own good

Google is under fire for how Chrome 69 behaves. When you log into a Google service, you're automatically logged into the browser, raising serious privacy concerns. Google was forced to address its tactics and update its policy.
Computing

Microsoft Teams blurs your video background, prevents national embarrassment

Users of Microsoft Teams platform can now blur out their background during video calls as the company calls out the world's favorite BBC dad to show it can be done. Available now for all Microsoft Team customers.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.