As Google looks to the future of Android and its cross-platform tablet philosophy, you can’t help but remember the past.
“11 years ago, Google first focused on creating an optimal Android tablet experience. In the prehistoric era of 2011, Le Googlé pushed the first Android tablet in an effort to attract developers by introducing Android 3.0 Honeycomb software and optimizing the large-screen application interface.
This effort, to say the least, did not last long. In about a year, Google — you know, Googled. The company lost its focus, lost its vision, and ultimately let the Android tablet idea languish without any meaningful movement or movement at the platform level.
So when word got out that Google was once again pushing the world to take Android tablets seriously, including its 2023-focused Pixel Tablet, it was hard not to feel a certain sense of déjà vu — hey, we’ve been down this road before . What can be done it’s a time is different
This is a valid question. I mean, Android tablets made some sense 11 years ago. In the more than ten years since then, Apple has cemented its status as the de facto business tablet standard. How to come back rigth now Does the new “like iPad but with Android” option matter?
The answer, as it turns out, may be right under our noses. The short version isn’t even Google try it to compete directly with the iPad for the overall tablet market. Instead, it may look to create a completely new one category of devices that can only be owned by oneself.
And for us mere tech-totin’ people, the consequences can be massive.
The Pixel Tablet is a mystery
At this point in the timeline of technological evolution, one thing is undeniable: 2022 will see a new iPad competitor it seems like a fool’s errand.
Of course, for someone me — For someone who believes that Apple’s approach to software development and ecosystem management is completely indifferent, offering an interesting option “like an iPad, but with Android” may be enough. But for the regular tablet-buying masses, you need something more serious to consider a device that (a) doesn’t compete solely on price (hello, Amazon Fire!) and (b) doesn’t boast anything else. operating system as its main distinguishing point.
Enter the Pixel tablet.
Google’s still-mysterious return to tablet hardware surprised many of us when it appeared at the Google I/O announcement extravaganza last week. Many people are knocking the still-early-designed tablet for its chunky and simple look.
Of course, the tablet Google showed off doesn’t look like your typical premium tablet from 2022. It looks really thick and its bezels are reminiscent of a budget-level design or tablet. a few years ago.
Interestingly, it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the Pixel device either in terms of design language or overall look. Even so, Google has made it clear that it’s a Pixel product, and that’s pretty much it. intended for placement as a premium device.
On the surface, at least one thing doesn’t seem to add up. But like many things related to Google, there may be more to this story than what we see on the most obvious outer layer.
Let’s take a look:
- Google is rumored to be working on a new Nest-Hub-style device that has a detachable screen — the display can basically be detached and used as a sort of tablet.
- We know that Android 13 has a lot of new elements, along the same lines that Google suggests preparing a new category of multi-purpose, dock-equipped devices. Apart from the optimization of the interface, we see many elements related to the transformation of the tablet into a common page, with elements such as specially designated widgets and screensavers, which are allowed to be used in dock mode, which is an improved and useful version of today’s Smart Display concept. And all of this comes with an expanded and re-emphasized multi-user profile system that makes it easy for any approved user to pick up such a device and access their personal stuff.
- The official images of the Pixel Tablet shared by Google at I/O seem to show the connectors on the back of the device — more specifically, the exact type of pogo-pin-style connectors that allow the device to connect simply by connecting to a dock. right area.
- Remember what we said a second ago about how the Pixel Tablet doesn’t have much in the typical Pixel design language? It is the truth. But you know what the design language of the device is will do there is? Nest. Look at the picture again. It looks like what you’d expect from a Nest Hub without a base.
So, with the caveat that we’re connecting a lot of dots here, all the pieces certainly come together and point to one consistent conclusion. Sure, the Pixel tablet might be related in some way to the detachable Nest Hub concept, or at least have a similar purpose, but it’s going to be a brand (ahem – eyebrow raise aside).
And that, my dear, brings us back to the question of how and why Android tablets matter today.
The purpose of the Pixel tablet
Using the Pixel tablet as an example for the type of use it seems Google envisions for a future Android tablet, what we’re seeing isn’t really a tablet in any traditional sense. It’s more like a smart display and also offers some personal computing capabilities.
If the next-generation Android tablet model revolves around a common built-in display, it will become the home or office. hub, primarily a way for everyone to view basic information and contextual intelligence intended for public consumption. It also plays a key role in connected device control – thermostats, smart lights and other similar home and/or office devices.
Unlike today’s Smart Displays, the main ambition of this product is to provide a fully customizable and information-rich environment in that dock form – it’s easy to see that it’s useful and opens many interesting doors for the home as well. and in business circles.
After taking into account the ability of each approved user to select an item, access it, and actually use it private The device suddenly took on a very different appeal than anything else out there. It’s hardly a tablet, or exactly a Smart Display. It’s an exciting new kind of hybrid blending that will ultimately create its own product class — one that hasn’t yet been named or defined by another major technology player.
So, back to the questions we asked at the beginning of this reflection: How can Google compete with the iPad in the tablet market right now? Now what’s the point of coming back with the new “like iPad but with Android” option?
The answer, as it turns out, might be a big fat “N/A.” All features are recommended by Google does not Plan to go head-to-head with the iPad – or offer some traditional Android tablet model.
Instead, he seems to be aiming to create an entirely new category of his own – one where, at least in theory, is she can set the standard and then force everyone to catch up. And regardless of how the Pixel Tablet is shaping up, it’s clear that Android itself is gearing up to support the same goal at the ecosystem level.
All this explains why Google’s so reliable Android tablets and Chrome OS tablets can be harmonious and meet very different needs.
Either way, mark my words: if Google plays its cards right, some really exciting new ways of tech could soon be upon us. And what we are seeing now is, of course, only the tip of the iceberg.
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