After years of letting Android tablets languish, Google has finally stepped things up again with Android 12L, a surprise release for Android 12 that focuses on tablet improvements, a display that can folding and other large screens. While this release has just gone live in stable mode, it hasn’t really hit any related devices that could really benefit from it, but Google is just getting started. The company shared a YouTube video on its Android Developers channel, talking about how tablets and other large-screen devices were forced to take over laptops in terms of ship numbers and how developers should rethink their mobile-first approach.
Rich Miner, Android co-founder and now CTO of tablets, talks about how the first Android tablets were primarily used as media consuming devices rather than content generators, with the use of and shipping stagnated for years because that’s pretty much still the only use case for Android on the big screen. However, Miner reports that in 2019, there is a change to the Android tablet hardware. Screens are getting bigger and keyboard accessories are growing in popularity, making Android tablets better suited for productivity than ever before.
Miner even admits that without any optimizations on Google’s part but instead a push from third-party manufacturers, these burgeoning tablets with keyboard accessories start used for creativity and productivity, with the Covid-19 pandemic acting as an accelerator. “It turns out that tablets are very efficient and less expensive than laptops,” he said, while also providing portability.
With Android 12L, Google is finally back in the game and providing some standardization tools for developers and device manufacturers, providing them with guidance on how to design pulse app interfaces. around the big screen. In fact, the company is hoping to provide the tools to make apps scale nicely in both landscape and portrait orientations on tablets and foldable tablets, with the Android 12L taskbar for Allows quick switching between productivity apps and provides an easy way to enter the split screen.
With the Android tablet market growing, Rich Miner is hoping for a shift in focus for developers. “I really think there’s going to be another wave of apps here that think tablets,” in contrast to the mobile-first mantra we’ve had for years, he said in the video. “What can I do with a larger screen that I can’t easily do with something physically connected to a keyboard?”
While Google may have started taking advantage of this trend much earlier, it hasn’t been of much help to its third-party manufacturers until recently. The company has neglected tablets and large-screen devices for a long time, with Google no longer selling its own hardware and not adding any groundbreaking new features to the stock version of Android tablets. . While the company still doesn’t offer its own tablet or foldable device, Android 12L marks a decisive shift in their priorities, being the company’s first release to virtually like only targeting the big screen, like Honeycomb of 2011.
Let’s just hope that 10 years from now, the company has actually gained some ground in the tablet market – and left behind Apple and its already amazing ecosystem of tablet apps. . Apple is actually years ahead of Google when it comes to apps and workflows designed with tablets in mind, even if many people may still prefer working on a laptop.
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