Microsoft has released an updated xCloud app for its Surface Duo (which runs Android). Microsoft's Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, shared the news, explaining that "working with @Xbox we've put touch controls on to the second screen." If you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription and a Surface Duo you might be intrigued to learn that Microsoft has added Xbox Touch Controls to 66 of the 257 cloud-enabled games in recent months.
At the Surface Duo unveiling nearly two years ago Microsoft first teased this Xbox gaming functionality making the most of the dual-screen form factor. The updated xCloud app now enables this fun mode, with the upper screen used for Xbox game display and the lower area with a virtual gamepad featuring staples such as 'analogue' and digital directional pads, as well as a plentiful array of buttons. At first glance, the arrangement makes the Surface Duo look like some kind of remixed Nintendo 3DS. The game touch controls vary per game, as you can see below.
Another app tweak just for the Surface Duo, means that the Xbox Cloud Gaming content uses the second screen for moving through and selecting content via columned layouts.
If you play xCloud app games on other Android mobiles the controls usually fit in an overlay which obscures some of the in-game display (as will your fingers and thumbs when gaming), so this should be a much better mobile experience. Other foldables with one large foldable screen, like the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei MateX2 devices, don't have the optimisations in place to shift the controls to a separate area of screen – but this is a possibility for the future.
Another possibility, and perhaps the best control choice for xCloud app users, is to use a Bluetooth or even an Xbox controller with your mobile. That relies on you wishing to carry a bulky grip-friendly device around for gaming, especially when you are out and about.