Google introduced a lot of new Pixel technologies during the I / O 2022 keynote speech, but for me, one product was above the rest. The Pixel Tablet had about three seconds of screen time and will not even be available until 2023 (if we are lucky). However, I found Google’s idea to add another piece of hardware to its already growing product line incredibly exciting.
It’s not just another tablet
You could easily argue that despite the “Pixel” brand, this upcoming tablet is just an Android tablet among many, one person will be stuck in a drawer when innovation fades. And to be honest, it’s a valid argument. Even my extremely powerful Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is not used much, except occasionally I want to use it as an extra screen for my desktop computer.
So why would Google’s tablet be different? The ecosystem. In the next Android Central podcast that will be released this weekend, we will talk about the latest announcements from Mountain View. And as I continue to watch the various developer-focused sessions at I / O 2022 and have time to organize my thoughts, it is clear that Google is taking Android tablets more seriously.
There are special sessions and tools for developers to create new applications or update older ones, with support for larger screens. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the growing number of foldable phones. And without a doubt, that was the catalyst for Google to make these changes.
However, at the moment, there are only a handful (and I mean only a few) of foldable devices that can actually run Android 13 Beta 2. This latest beta aims to open the door for developers to actually implement these tools provided by Google, so folders and tablets are better supported. Google is still devoting time and manpower to making the necessary changes to it own applications so that there are no large empty spaces in applications such as the Play Store, YouTube Music and others.
Completing the Pixel ecosystem
The biggest reason the Pixel Tablet is my favorite entry / exit announcement is that it will complete Google’s 2022 Better Together initiative. Yes, I understand that Google has confirmed that the Pixel Tablet will not be available until “sometime” in 2023. But if you look at how the last year went for the company, the case of a Google ecosystem is finally here.
Of course, we do not know the numbers or details, but during the keynote speech, Google stated that the Pixel 6 series has surpassed the sales of both the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 5 combined. Then there are the Pixel 6a and Pixel Buds Pro coming in late July. The Pixel 6a aims to offer a calm presence in Google’s mid-range and budget smartphone strategy.
Google’s bottom line has been a bit confusing lately, between the Pixel 4a, 4a with 5G and the often-forgotten Pixel 5a. Pixel 6a should solve this as it uses same Tension chip found on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, along with the new sleek design, with the cybercamera camera line on the back. It also includes features like the Magic Eraser and Real Tone originally released with the Pixel 6. Essentially, you get a top Pixel with a few corners cut to reduce the price to just $ 449.
Pixel Buds Pro offers Pixel fans some new and impressive headphones with fun colors and most importantly, Active Noise Cancellation. On paper, these should finally give us Google’s competitor for AirPods Pro, and that’s pretty exciting in itself.
Going down the schedule, Google’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are coming this fall, with support for the next-generation Tensor processor. This announcement should be accompanied by the arrival of the Pixel Watch, which has only been rumored for most of the last decade. We do not know all the details yet, but by the end of the year, this is how Google’s ecosystem should be:
- Budget Phone: Pixel 6a
- Budget headphones: Pixel Buds A-Series
- High quality headphones: Pixel Buds Pro
- Smartwatch: Pixel Watch
- Flagship phone: Pixel 7 and 7 Pro
- Computer: Chrome OS and Chromebook
This leaves only one category to be completed, and that is the tablets. The Pixel Tablet meets this need — or perhaps wants it, in my case — in the range of products developed by Google. If all goes well, it will help revitalize a tablet market that has remained largely stagnant, with the exception of a few manufacturers such as Samsung and Lenovo.
There are even some murmurs in the crowd about Google removing a page from Lenovo’s book and presenting some sort of niche base. This will turn the Pixel Tablet into a Google Home / Nest Hub that you can take with you, giving you the benefits of a Nest Hub without having to plug it in.
Fulfillment of the prophecy
Once upon a time, we were close to this ideal Better Together, in the Nexus era with Nexus phones and Nexus tablets. Well, at least with the Nexus 7, as the Nexus 9 and 10 just could not capture what the smaller one did.
Take a look at the various press releases and blog posts and you will quickly see that Google is consolidating the idea that your devices work “better” everywhere. Seamless interactions between phone, tablet, smartwatch, smart home, computer and almost anything else.
It’s an idea we’ve been wanting to see from Google for a long time, and while Apple and Samsung have done just that, it’s finally Google’s turn.
Maybe the Pixel Tablet is a failure, no one will care about tablets and folders and this idea ends up collapsing. But I think 2022 is the year that Google is finally living up to the promise of a cohesive ecosystem built by Android and Google before its Tablet goes into battle next year.
All the pieces of the puzzle have been revealed. now we just have to wait and see if Google can make them fit successfully.