During the I/O 2022 keynote, Google announced a slew of new Pixel products, but one, in particular, caught my eye. The Pixel Tablet only received around three seconds of screen time and won’t be ready until 2023 (if we’re lucky). Regardless, the idea of Google introducing another piece of hardware to its already-expansive product range excites me greatly.
Unique & Different tablet
Despite the “Pixel” name, one might easily argue that this impending tablet is just another Android tablet, one that customers will put in a drawer once the novelty wears off. To be honest, it’s a reasonable argument. Apart from the odd times, I wish to use it as an auxiliary monitor for my desktop PC, my ultra-powerful Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra doesn’t receive much use.
So, what makes you think Google’s tablet will be any different? The environment. We’ll discuss the newest Mountain View developments in our next Android Central podcast, which will be released this weekend. And it’s clear that Google is taking Android tablets more seriously as I continue to see the many developer-focused sessions at I/O 2022 and have time to organize my thoughts.
Developers can attend dedicated workshops and use tools to create new apps or update existing ones to accommodate larger screens. The expanding number of foldable phones is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And it’s possible that this was the impetus for Google to make these modifications.
However, only a few (and I mean a few) foldable can currently run Android 13 Beta 2. This latest beta seeks to allow developers to use the tools given by Google to better support foldable and tablets. Google is even devoting time and resources to making the necessary improvements to its own apps, such as the Play Store, YouTube Music, and others so that there are no large blank spots.
Pixel All Gadgets
The Pixel Tablet is my favorite I/O announcement since it will complete Google’s “Better Together” strategy for 2022. Yes, Google has stated that the Pixel Tablet will not be released until “sometime” in 2023. However, given the company’s performance over the last year, the concept of a Google ecosystem is finally within reach.
Of course, we don’t have figures or numbers, but Google claimed during the Keynote presentation that the Pixel 6 series has outsold both the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 5. The Pixel 6a and Pixel Buds Pro will be released at the end of July. The Pixel 6a is designed to offer a sense of serenity to Google’s mid-range and affordable smartphone lineup.
Between the Pixel 4a, 4a with 5G, and the oft-forgotten Pixel 5a, Google’s lower-end range has been a bit of a confusing mess recently. The Pixel 6a should address this, as it features the same Tensor chip as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, as well as a sleek new design with the back-mounted cyber-robotic camera bar. It also has features like Magic Eraser and Real Tone, which were first introduced with the Pixel 6. So, in essence, you’re getting a flagship Pixel with a few compromises made to get the price down to $449.
The Pixel Buds Pro is new and flamboyant earbuds with bright colors and, more crucially, Active Noise Cancellation for Pixel fans. On paper, these appear to be Google’s answer to the AirPods Pro, which is exciting enough in and of itself.
Moving forward in time, Google’s Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, which will be powered by the next-generation Tensor processor, will be released this Fall. The launch of the Pixel Watch, which has been rumored for the greater part of a decade, should follow that announcement. We don’t have all of the details yet, but this is how Google’s environment should look by the end of the year:
- Budget phone: Pixel 6a
- Budget earbuds: Pixel Buds A-Series
- Smartwatch: Pixel Buds Pro
- Flagship phone: Pixel 7 and 7 Pro
Only one category remains to be filled, and that is tablets. In the range of Google-developed products, the Pixel Tablet satisfies that need — or, in my case, desire. If everything goes according to plan, it should help to re-energize a tablet market that has been mainly static, with the exception of a few manufacturers such as Samsung and Lenovo.
There are even whispers in the audience that Google will follow Lenovo’s lead and introduce some sort of customized dock. This would turn the Pixel Tablet into a portable Google Home/Nest Hub, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of Nest Hub without having to plug it in.