Why does Google make a Pixel Tablet Pro?

All signs point to Google releasing not one, but two Android tablets in 2023. The question is, why is Google making a Pixel Tablet Pro?

For over a decade now, Google and other device makers have been trying to make Android tablets truly competitive with Apple’s iPad. Whether or not these efforts were successful is up for debate, but Google itself has long since retreated from the Android tablet space. Even 2015’s Pixel C tablet was originally supposed to run on ChromeOS instead of Android, making the Nexus 9 Google’s newest tablet destined For Android.

In some ways, Google using ChromeOS as its first tablet experience made a lot of sense. After all, Chromebooks can run Android apps, and a full desktop experience is out of the box once you enable a keyboard and mouse. The Pixelbook proved that better than any other device to date, but the same couldn’t be said for Google’s newest tablet, the Pixel Slate 2018.

Where the Pixelbook brought a superb balance between laptop and tablet and was judged against other laptops/Chromebooks, the Pixel Slate was a tablet first, pitting the iPad and even Android tablets against one another. Without going into too much detail, you can Read more to this saga in our previous cover – the short version is that the Pixel Slate failed to be a productive laptop and wasn’t a compelling tablet compared to even a cheaper iPad.

This failure even led Google cancels of them other tablet projects which were under construction. Despite this failure, Google’s work to make ChromeOS tablets great eventually paved the way for the fantastic tablets available today like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Series.

Fast forward to 2022, and Google has several new visions for what a tablet can be and the role it plays in everyday life. On the one hand, Google noted that Android tablets often spend a lot of time idle. To give the home tablet a new purpose when idle (and keep it charged and ready to use), the Google Pixel tablet can be docked, turning it into a smart display like the Nest Hub .

This vision makes perfect sense for a more affordable iteration of the Pixel tablet, aimed at simple entertainment and smart home control. However, this does not correspond to the existence of a high-end “Pixel Tablet Pro”, which we have seen many signs from Google brewing, with new evidence appearing regularly.

From the “Pro” designation, we think Google is trying again to create a tablet that’s ready for the productivity of a normal workday. This brings us to Google’s second strategy for the future of Android tablets. Earlier this year, Rich Miner, CTO of Google tablets, shared a vision of Android tablets running entirely new apps and experiences made possible by the use of a stylus.

If tablets are really going to be this new device for people to be creative and productive, what new apps would take advantage of people who can do things with a stylus right off the bat? What does that mean for the mobility you have with a tablet that you don’t quite even have with a laptop?

— Wealthy miner

To this end, Google told us that the Pixel tablet will support USI (Universal Stylus Initiative) styluses, making it the first Android device to do so. Basically, you can buy any USI stylus or use one you may already have on another device – rather than requiring an expensive Google-branded accessory – and use it with your Pixel tablet, bringing fine precision and pressure sensitivity.

More specific details on the tablet’s pen support have yet to be disclosed, but USI pen compatibility is a perfect fit for a productivity-focused Pixel Tablet Pro, especially if apps from Google and third-party are updated to use it well. Conversely, ignoring pen support is one way Google could reduce costs for the mainstream Pixel tablet model.

Meanwhile, through Google’s many Android apps and even Android itself, the company has also been working to make the operating system more keyboard-friendly. Google Docs and other Workspace apps win useful keyboard shortcutswhile the latest Android beta included an upcoming feature this makes it easier to open a particular app with just your keyboard. Even better, last week we even saw tangible progress on the long-awaited version of Android. desktop mode.

Like my colleague Abner Li reported in octoberGoogle has been explicit about delivering a good productivity experience for the Pixel tablet by working with in-house and third-party developers.

Between the keyboard and/or stylus attachments and the upgraded base specs that a “Pro” device typically brings, the Pixel Tablet Pro is in a prime position to serve as the centerpiece of where Google wants to take Android to new heights. large screens. The only question is whether this vision will be realized in time for the early adopters of Google’s next device or if other tablet makers like Lenovo and Samsung will be the ones who will reap the benefits.

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