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Google appears to be giving its Android Tablets division some consideration

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Considered one of Android’s unique founders, Wealthy Miner, is engaged on Android tablets, a incontrovertible fact that was just lately revealed in a ComputerWorld report digging into Google’s historical past with tablets. Miner’s LinkedIn page seems to verify it, itemizing his present title as “CTO Android Tablets,” and says he’s been in that position since March, 2021. Google instructed The Verge in an electronic mail that his particular position is “main software program growth for Android for giant screens” within the “Platforms and Ecosystems crew.”

Given that somebody pivotal to Android’s historical past is now engaged on tablets, and a few job listings Google has posted, it looks as if the corporate could also be doing one thing attention-grabbing with Android past telephones and foldables. Miner labored on Android when it was being constructed by an organization referred to as Android, Inc., which might later go on to be acquired by Google. He’s finished a number of issues within the time since (together with helping Google figure out which startups to invest in), however it looks as if now he’s again engaged on Android, with an eye fixed in the direction of making it higher for tablets.

It’s not simply Miner’s position that exhibits Google has a renewed concentrate on larger-screen units. The upcoming Android 12L update, which is currently in beta, is targeted on bettering the pill and foldable expertise. A job itemizing for a “Senior Engineering Supervisor, Android Pill App Expertise” spotted by 9to5Google additionally says that Google believes “the way forward for computing is shifting in the direction of extra highly effective and succesful tablets.”

That’s a little bit of an about-face for Google — in 2019, the corporate stated that its {hardware} crew was done working on tablets, and can be totally specializing in laptops. Whereas Google’s {hardware} lead stated that the “Android & Chrome OS groups are 100% dedicated for the long-run on working with our companions on tablets,” within the wake of the not-so-great Pixel Slate (which used Chrome OS as an alternative of Android) it was hard to feel excited concerning the future for Google-powered tablets.

Now, with the hires and rumors that Google’s working on its own foldable Pixel phone (which might principally find yourself being a telephone that turns right into a pill), it undoubtedly looks as if the corporate is planning on returning to the pill area ultimately. Google stated it didn’t have a remark about whether or not it had reconsidered working by itself tablets.

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however Miner himself has been making some attention-grabbing feedback on Twitter. He retweeted ComputerWorld’s article with the remark “Undoubtedly a tragic story, however there is a sign of hope on the finish. What’s that [Rich Miner] man as much as…” He additionally replied to a comment from Mishaal Rahman, saying that Android 12L, an upcoming replace centered on bigger display units, is a “nice begin.”

Whereas the iPad is the principle focus of dialog round tablets, Apple isn’t utterly dominating the market. According to market research firm IDC, Apple was the highest pill vendor within the third quarter of 2021, with round a 34 p.c share of the market. However that leaves lots of room for rivals like Samsung (the second largest with round 18 p.c market share in Q3 2021), Amazon, and extra. Whereas it’s very potential Google is simply planning to concentrate on its relationship with pill OEMs, it taking one other crack at a Pixel pill wouldn’t be unwelcome — particularly to individuals with fond memories of the Nexus 7.

Replace January twenty eighth, 7:16PM ET: Added info from Google about Miner’s position.

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