Google’s previous flaws were fully shown at I/O 2022

enlargement – widening / This wasn’t an actual Google I/O 2022 chip, but it could have been.

Google / Ron Amadeo

Google held an I/O conference earlier this month, and to longtime Google watchers, the event looked like a hangout. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, took to the podium to deliver his opening remarks and steer the spirits of long-dead Google products. “Heard… something about an Android tablet? And a smartwatch?” he seemed to say.

By my count, Reviving the Past accounts for about half of the company’s top ads. In all of these cases, Google would be in a much stronger position if it had maintained a long-term plan and constantly iterated on that plan.

Unfortunately, the company does not have that kind of downside trend. Instead, for most of the revived products, Google is trying to catch up with competitors after years of resistance. There is one question we should ask in every ad: “Will things be different this time?”

Android tablets are back

Since when are Android tablets dead? Some companies, like Samsung, have never given up on this idea, but the last real piece of Google tablets was the Pixel C in 2015. The Android tablet user interface has been gone for a while. Its development peaked with the initial release of Android 3.0 Honeycomb in 2011, and every subsequent Android release and Google app update reduced the tablet’s interface size until it disappeared. App developers took Google’s neglect as a sign that they should stop making Android tablets as well, and the ecosystem collapsed.

After the launch of the Pixel C in 2015, Google exited the tablet market for three years and then released the Pixel Slate Chrome-OS tablet. Then he got out of the tablet market for another three years. Now she’s back. Will the company’s new plans produce other year-long wonders like the Pixel Slate?

Some of the biggest tablet news coming out of the program was that Google is really committed to developing tablet apps again. The company announced that it will provide tablet interfaces for more than 20 Google apps and has shown screenshots of most of them. Tablet versions of Google Play, YouTube, Google Maps, Chrome, and a host of other hitters were shown. Google even got some third parties to commit to building apps for Android tablets, including Facebook, Zoom, and TikTok. All of this will help make the Android tablet experience something worth investing in.

Google has also announced a new tablet, the Pixel Tablet, that’s slated for a bit far ‘sometime in 2023’. It’s a great looking widescreen tablet and normal phone apps won’t look good on it. I’m speculating here, but the Pixel tablet looks cheap. I’m not saying this as a simplification of the product; I mean, it looks like it’s meant to compete with more Amazon Fire tablets than iPads.

The product only received a 30-second teaser on Google I/O, but Google showed off what appears to be a thicker tablet, which is often a hallmark of a cheaper device. The only camera on the back looked like a punch-hole camera in the basement, the back could be plastic. If Google wants to target the iPad, we’ll likely see a slimmer design and a host of accessories like a stylus and keyboard.

Going after the Fire tablet would make sense. It is the most popular Android tablet (forked) on the market. Given Google’s immature tablet ecosystem, it would be easier to win people over with a cheaper product than charging a premium right away. It wouldn’t be as new either, like the Nexus 7 line. I waited a few years for cheap tablets until Google lost interest in them.

Google’s preview is also perfectly compatible with popular files that the company’s next “smart screen” will be a detachable tablet. The last thing the joke showed was a bunch of pins, which could be for a smart display base. Google also highlighted smart home support for the Google Nest Camera, which is currently a smart display feature. The Docked smart view is one of today’s fiery tablets, giving more credence to the idea that Google wants to compete with Amazon’s products.

So far, all this work makes it seem as if Google is trying to get back what it got rid of shortly after Honeycomb was released. The company released a tablet-focused update for Android in March – Android 12L – but that was much less ambitious than Honeycomb’s release. Android 13 will continue to work more on the tablet.

The rise of foldable devices has also changed the market, and these devices need tablet apps to function well. If people with the best Android phones had devices that suddenly opened up to tablets, the market for tablet apps would be much stronger. Assuming the foldable future does indeed occur, more and more devices will require large-screen app designs even if the fully autonomous Android tablet explodes.

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