Google wants your next work laptop to be an Android tablet
Tablet devices could be set for a major comeback, with the handheld devices better suited for work and productivity tasks, Google has claimed.
In the latest episode of The Android Show, the company’s CTO of tablets Rich Miner laid out his vision of a “tablet-first” future.
Miner, who was one of the co-founders of Android, says that when twinned with the latest versions of the software, tablet devices offer a range of advantages for enterprise and business users that could see them supercede business laptops soon.
Android tablet or laptop?
Miner noted that although the first Android tablets were aimed squarely at the consumer market, larger-screen devices began seeing stronger sales in the latter half of 2019.
The Covid pandemic and shift towards remote and hybrid working has helped push these sales even higher, acting as an “accelerant” as people look for more effective ways to work.
“The belief is that tablets started to be just much better for things beyond consumption, and were being used for creativity and productivity and there was a need for more screens and devices to support that,” Miner said.
Tablet sales rose strongly during the first year of the pandemic, and nearly drew level with laptop shipments before falling off slightly in 2021 – although Miner says he expects this to return at some point in te future.
“I actually think that there’s going to be a crossover point at some point in the not too distant future where there are more tablets sold annually than there are laptops,” he noted. “I think once you cross over that point, you’re not going to be coming back.”
Miner says that the form factor of tablets offers a particular appeal for users and developers alike, with the recent launch of Android 12L providing specialized tools for such devices.
“I actually think there is going to be another wave of apps here that are thinking tablet-first,” he noted. “What can I do with that larger screen that maybe I couldn’t easily do with something that was physically connected to a keyboard?”
“If tablets really are going to become this new device for people to be creative and productive, what new apps would take advantage of people who may be doing things stylus-enabled out of the gate? What does that mean for the mobility that you have with a tablet that you don’t even quite have with a laptop? “
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