On July 13th, it was the seventh anniversary of the launch of the Google tablet Nexus, and when it was launched many questions such as: Will you be a replacement for the laptop? Or is it something completely different? Many did not know the answer to such questions. Google was able to shop for these devices in some way and this helped to produce several devices, such as Nexus 10, Pixel C and Pixel Slate. Unfortunately, since then, interest in various Android tablets has dropped to the lowest level.
Google decided to completely close the tablet division, and turn employees to work on Chromebooks and other projects. Certainly, the failure of Google tablets due to several reasons and decisions that contributed to the complete exit of Google from the tablet market and these are the most important factors that contributed to the failure of Google tablets.
In February 2011, Google released the Android version of Honeycomb 3.0, an operating system designed specifically for tablets. The update included things like resizable widgets, support for multiple USB devices and customizable home screens, all good for productivity.
Several tablets were then shipped to gain market share and compete with Apple’s iPad tablet, but Google quickly realized that people didn’t buy iPads for productivity, they were buying them for entertainment. The screens were larger and much better for watching YouTube and reading news, more convenient to navigate rather than a huge laptop, and if the user wanted to be a product, he would only have to use a real computer.
Google remedied this issue by launching Nexus 7 and focused its efforts on what users want like entertainment by launching services like Google Play Movies and Google Play Books and Google marketed the Nexus 7 as more than just a tablet, which attracted the attention of users who suddenly realized that they have a whole world of entertainment at their fingertips on a bigger screen, this pushed Nexus 7 sales-forward briefly.
But the problem that Google does not seem to be responsible for is that smartphones are coming with larger screens and faster performance optimization, and at the same time they need for personalized PCs is dwindling.
With its Galaxy Note, Samsung has created a race for the size that is still happening today, and improvements in smartphone chips have evolved faster than traditional PCs. Smartphones were, therefore, the focus of attention, and tablets were seen as a means of fun and entertainment only.
Google put Android tablets in second place
When the Nexus 7 came in, the Android operating system Jelly Bean came in, an operating system designed to work on both mobile phones and tablets. While maintaining some of the productivity features that first appeared in the Honeycomb operating system, this made it clear that Google was giving back priority to smartphones.
Entertainment has been the hallmark of smartphone users, and if users can view content on their phones on the go, and go to a more comfortable viewing experience at home, why not? People still have their desktops and laptops for real work, so I left productivity on the side of the road.
Over the next few years, people’s needs have quickly shifted from more ways of entertainment consumption to more ways to achieve productivity. Certainly, games and entertainment are still being downloaded, but productivity apps like Slack and Todoist were launched on a global scale, and people realized that mobile phones could allow them to work not only in the office but also on the go.
For basic tasks such as organization, planning, and communication, smartphones worked great but remained less efficient in more intensive tasks such as writing and editing video. So people wanted more big screens and a long-lasting device.
The obvious place to look for more screen is a laptop, but the world has been more obsessed with navigating with a device than ever before. Though thin and light, this is what is required, so it has captured almost every technology sector. So the next logical step was tablets.
Although Android tablets were cheap and unsupported, on the other hand, iOS developers had begun to look at the Apple iPad as a workable solution for production in earnest. Developers quickly took advantage of this, and users were hungry to empty the contents of their laptops into these tablets.
At the same time, Android tablet manufacturers have traditionally used low-quality components to keep costs down, but Apple has always kept the iPad as a flagship device, even when its basic use case was entertaining. The iPad uses the same flagship processor as the iPhone, and since the iPhone has become faster and more powerful, the iPad has also grown, and it has become a clear advantage for Apple in the tablet market.
There was no incentive for Android app developers
Google left it to developers to improve their applications for both phones and tablets, but Android phones were chasing tablets in size and tablets do not serve any real consumption. So that improving the application for another device is useless. Allowing the Android system to expand apps was the simplest option, but apps were often left with ugly interfaces on tablets.
Few companies such as Samsung and Huawei have made efforts to make Android tablets a real competition for iPads.
However, Android has never been optimized to support tablet interfaces, and this was evident when the Galaxy Tab S4 did not rise to the level of competition. While I commend Samsung’s efforts to try to turn the Android operating system into a usable tablet interface, the bad optimization of apps from Developers make selling any Android tablet difficult.
Google paid attention to this, which is why it stopped developing tablets themselves and made the manufacture and development of these devices for other companies, and focused its efforts on the development and production of Pixel Slate devices as a final effort to compete in this market. But in June 2019, Google announced that it will not continue to develop these devices It scrapped two models that were under development, leaving Google completely out of the tablet market.
iPad and the secret of success
Apple recently unveiled the iPad OS, an update that is almost exclusively geared towards productivity, as users increasingly want to do more on mobile devices. Since the phones are still unable to accomplish some things such as poor writing experience and small screen, so Apple has been able to fill the gap. The iPad is now a portable device, but not a laptop, but more productivity-oriented than a smartphone.
Apple is also adding features that first appeared eight years ago in the Android version of Honeycomb, but the world is different now. Access to external USB media, desktop widgets, and split-screen functions are all productive.
So the Apple tablet is no longer seen as a device for consuming entertainment content as many users are starting to view it as a primary device, and another reason for the success of the iPads is the continuous support and improvement of Apple itself. Developer APIs like Metal make applications work better on Apple devices as developers can quickly take advantage of this power for their productivity applications.
For consumers, there is a great reason to continue buying iPads is reliability and knowing what to do with this device. From the first model, Apple has made its tablet perfectly consistent with the productivity consumers are looking for.
Is there any hope to see a tablet from Google?
At the moment, Android tablets provided by third parties are good and both Samsung and Huawei continue to be present in their own devices, but if Google does not invest in creating software for its own devices, it is difficult to see Android tablets have a significant impact in this market.
Nexus tablets were Google’s first attempt to enter the tablet market, perhaps because the market was still new and the possibilities of tablets have not yet been explored. But in the end, Android tablets didn’t have a focused vision. For now, Chromebooks look like the company’s future. We may not see any tablets from Google shortly, but we hope to see the light one day to become a real competitor to the iPad again.