The last time Google tried to tackle the iPad with a Pixel tablet, things didn’t go so well. In fact, a lackluster response to the Pixel Slate led the tech giant to pull out of the tablet game altogether.
But, like Michael Corleone from The Godfather, Google may be back in the fray one last time, just when you thought it was over.
We don’t know much about the new tablet as the company kept an air of mystery around the announcement. But we’ve gathered all the information we now have about this exciting future device.
Google teases Pixel tablet on I/O Keynote
Google teased a new Pixel tablet on its 2022 I/O Developer Conference† According to The keyword blog, it will be an Android tablet powered by the Tensor processor. Google promises it will be “built to be the perfect companion for your Pixel phone”.
The tablet runs on the same Google Tensor chip in Google’s latest versions of its Pixel phones† This means that it should be able to handle tasks such as text-to-speech, real-time language translation and image processing, even without an internet connection.
Android tablets have struggled to break through in the past because their apps weren’t optimized for large screens. But this time, Google claims to have learned its lesson and it will be different with the latest Pixel tablet.
“TikTok, Zoom and Facebook are building new apps for tablets this year,” said Trystan Upstill, VP Engineering at Google’s Android team. The edge“and many more to come.”
Google is also updating 20 of its own apps for tablets, including Google Maps, Google Messages and YouTube Music.
Why is Google making tablets again?
When Google released its previous tablet, the Pixel Slate, it was criticized for its inadequate software. It ran on Chrome OS, which wasn’t great for tablets, and performance was slow. Also, the fully specified version had a very high price of about $1,600.
Tech blogger, MKBHD, gave it a brutal review:
After critics and customers alike knocked the product, a bruised Google killed the Pixel Slate in June 2019, after just nine months. The company promised to focus on laptops instead.
What Google didn’t count on was the pandemic that surfaced in 2020. As the quarantines rolled out, it became clear to the tech industry how important tablets are for home entertainment.
So Google returns to the game with a tablet focused on consumer entertainment, gaming, and other applications like image processing.
The Pixel Slate will run upgraded Android software, while Chrome OS, which is more suited to work or school, will be ditched.
“We see it as a critical part of how people interact with media and computers at home,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president of devices and services, told The Verge about his new tablet philosophy.
Success is not guaranteed for the Pixel tablet
Samsung is doing quite well with its Galaxy Tab line, and Amazon’s inexpensive Fire tablets are still on the market. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPad remains the all-conquering industry leader.
Google hopes it will find the balance between technology and price this time. When it arrives in 2023, the Pixel Tablet will have to do its job to succeed in a skeptical market.
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