Nearly two years ago, we released a Garage project created by a passionate engineer who channeled his classical architecture training and love for drawing into a 360 sketch app. Sketch 360 enables artists to create full, 360-degree, panoramic sketches with ease, using an innovative grid design. Originally released on Windows and designed around Surface Laptop, Surface Go, and the power of the Surface Pen, the app is now available on Android, leveraging the unique, two-screen form factor of the Surface Duo for on-the-go artists, architects, VR game designers–or anyone who wants to capture their imagination in 360 degrees.
“Throughout my career, my passion has been for building and using creative tools so my imagination comes alive with a dual-screen, pen/touch capable device that folds out from my pocket to the size of my typical journal page.”
–Michael Scherotter, Principal Program Manager and Sketch 360 creator
Bringing Sketch 360 to the Surface Duo
Sketch 360 creator and Principal Program Manager Michael Scherotter outlines his experience re-imagining the UWP app for the Duo in full detail, featured on the Surface Duo Dev Blog. Michael and a team of volunteer hackers brought Sketch 360 from a hack project to a releasable experiment and are extending an invitation to external collaborators by open sourcing the Android application.
“I was up for the challenge of moving my native C# UWP app to a C# Xamarin Forms. When the Microsoft Garage sponsored an internal hackathon to encourage employees to build or adapt apps for the Surface Duo, I jumped at the chance,” shares Michael, who is a multi-year hacking veteran. The largest company hacking event takes place at the Microsoft Hackathon each July, drawing thousands of employees and hack projects, but hacking culture thrives all year round. When Michael entered his prototype into a dedicated Surface Duo hackathon, his project was selected among three winners that would go on to share their prototypes with experts and leaders of the Surface business.
In addition to demoing Sketch 360 adapted for Duo, Michael and the other teams were able to share their experience and feedback about adapting or creating experiences from scratch for Duo. “Xamarin forms made the process of creating a cross-platform mobile creative app straightforward, and with the additional tools in the Xamarin Essentials, I was able to make it as functional and performant as a native app. For most of the development, using the Surface Duo Emulator enabled my volunteer team of hackers and me to build the app without having a physical device in-hand.”
A hacking culture enables ideas, diverse perspectives, and organic collaboration, to flow laterally and vertically through an organization to fuel innovation.
Developers can find a detailed outline of Michael’s experience, reimagining the app for Android, on the Surface Duo Dev Blog.
Mobile productivity, powered by two screens
The Microsoft Surface Duo offers a new way to get things done while on the go. Open two screens and discover a better way to get things done. View two apps at once or span one across both screens, drag and drop between screens, and say goodbye to constant app switching.
- Room to focus. Open and view different apps on each screen to easily reference and compare content. Say goodbye to constant app switching on your mobile device.
- Enhanced apps built for two screens. Dual-screen enhanced apps* respond to you and magically reorient to make best use of both screens.
- Create your favorite combos with App Groups. Unique to Surface Duo, pair and launch any two apps at the same time. It’s completely custom to you.
- Drag and drop to effortlessly move images, text, files, and more between screens so you can get things done quicker (only available on supported apps)
Learn more about the power of two screens on a Surface Duo.