Monday, January 24, 2022

Google is done making Tablets – Android Tablets are dead?

I’ve had an article in my drafts titled “Android Tablets are dead – No need to buy” for about 5 days now. I held back on completing it because of rumors of Huawei’s M6 tablets launching soon. I was telling myself, maybe not yet. Now I’m not so sure.

Google has announced they’ve stopped making Tablets. And not just stopped, they’re infact cancelling two unreleased products. This isn’t even two years since the Pixel Slate!

Okay, Google says they’ll continue making Chrome OS products that are in the traditional laptop form factor, and that the Slate will continue receiving updates over the next many years. They also say, they’re still committed to the AndroidOS + ChromeOS whatever they’ve been doing with their Chrome devices that allows Android apps to run on Chrome devices. But this doesn’t cut it for me.

For me, it is pure laziness. They didn’t do all they could do to make tablets work. Because I believe, like Apple does, that Tablets are still the best form factor for both portability and productivity.

In 2019, Apple has the following lineup of tablets they’re selling:

Tablets are not dead

Look at that. And here Google is announcing they’re done, when Android is their brainchild?

I bought a tablet close to 10 months ago. An Android tablet, because iPads are expensive. I use it daily. For reading and for watching stuff. It could do more, but it doesn’t. Why?

  • Lack of Tablet optimised apps – what you get with many apps is just stretched out versions of mobile apps. I believe Google never tried to convince developers to make tablet friendly apps from the beginning, and that’s why very few exist. Compare Android tablet apps with iPad apps. World’s apart!
  • No updates – My tablet still runs Android 7.0. I bought it knowing I’d be stuck there. And you may ask who’s to blame. Is it Google? Isn’t it the manufacturer? I say it is both.
  • Licensing – my tablet has a 1440p panel. It is super bright, and looks really good. But I’ll never ever watch Netflix HD on it. Because of issues it’ll take a whole post to explain. Meanwhile you buy an iPad and it just works.

I’m angry that Google is giving up on tablets. I wish they pushed it a little more, because it is a better, and a working, form factor compared to the currently hyped foldables.

I hope them giving up won’t make other companies like Xiaomi, and Samsung who’ve been making tablets for a while now make the same decision.

I hope Huawei goes on to make their tablets like they’ve been doing. And I hope if their Android license will be revoked, they run their OakOS on their tablets and encourage proper development of OakOS apps that are designed for tablets. An iPad can replace your laptop, and has even gotten better with iPadOS! I hope Huawei is looking at that market, and doesn’t believe people don’t want tablets.

The Pixel Slate from Google received a lot of negative reviews because it was just bad. Going with ChromeOS made no sense. But Google is still arguing that they’ll continue to improve ChromeOS for tablets since there’s companies like Acer and HP who’re making such tablets. I wonder if they’ll continue to do so.

I love that companies like Samsung are doing more to make their tablets more productive with interfaces like Samsung DeX. And I hope they find more ways of making tablets more usable when running Android. (I will still buy an iPad though, one day).

This post is typed on my Teclast M89 Android 7 tablet while in a moving bus.



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Dickson Otieno
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