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Daily Authority: 👉 Google hypes tablets (again)

Google is urging developers harder than ever to make apps for developers, plus more tech news you need to know today!
By
March 11, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus logo closeup on desk
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

👋 Good morning! A true Friday celebration today, hooray.

Google’s tablet vision

Huawei MateBook E On Table Undock
Harley Maranan / Android Authority

Google’s Android Show put up a new episode on YouTube the other day, again pointing out there are over 250 million Android tablets out there in the world.

And more to the point, the show took what it called a “deep dive” into tablets, featuring Android co-founder and Google’s current CTO of tablets Rich Miner.

  • Now, Google has had a vision for tablets more than once, and Miner to his credit didn’t fail to touch on the rise of Android tablets in 2011 and their very long period of stagnation as the iPad became the default larger screen device.
  • Miner didn’t exactly fess up to how Google failed consumers itself but hey, acknowledging the general issue is something.
  • Anyway, Miner went on to hype the idea that a new wave of apps will be “thinking tablet first”.
  • Some quotes: “We launched the first Android tablet version in 2011 and tablets actually took off and the usage that drove that uptake was largely consumption and tablets without much investment were good for consumption…. And it stayed that way for a long period of time and tablet growth kind of stagnated.”
  • “And what started to shift, was around 2019, tablet screens were getting larger, keyboard attach rates were getting much higher, and you started to see improvements; our third-parties were doing a great job in investing in tablets.”
  • Noting the relationship between COVID and tablets, Miner predicted a crossover with more tablets being sold than laptops. “If you ask me [about tablet growth], my thesis is absolutely yes.”

Developers being warmed up:

  • This was a show for Android developers, and so there was talk about how developers should prepare, how to use bigger screens, what Google provides in its libraries, and how large-screen specific Android 12L is helping as well.
  • Miner said, “But the other thing and the thing I’m more excited about, if tablets really are going to become this new device for people to be creative and productive, [is] 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 you have with a tablet that you don’t even have with a laptop.”
  • Google is practically begging developers to do more. The reason I’d rather buy a more premium tablet over the basic models isn’t to keep browsing Netflix whenever I can, but to crack on with real work, and tablets have real advantages for light, easy, on-the-go setups, though with the caveat that you need to invest in the keyboard and mouse situation to really up the productivity from slow to good.
  • Even Instagram won’t bother fixing up its apps for tablets on any platform, iPad included, because most people use their phones.
  • But, Google has to try and ask nicely, provide developers with tools and encouragement, talk up the ecosystem, and so on.
  • The other thing it could do is release a tablet itself. Or a foldable. That’ll help.

Roundup

👍 The OSOM OV1 is the spiritual successor to the Essential Phone, and a first shot of the front is out showing the front. It has a bit of a bezel but it’s not bad (Android Authority).

😊 Google has rolled out iMessage emoji reactions for Google Messages, plus a bunch of other app updates (Android Authority).

🔨 Four years later, Samsung is still updating the Galaxy S9 flagships(Android Authority).

👉 To help Ukraine, Google rolls out “Air Raid Alerts” system for Android. It uses the same tech as the earthquake alerts (Ars Technica).

Google has paused Play Store and YouTube payments in Russia, meaning… no new apps/subscriptions for Russians via the Google Play store, which is a pretty heavy whack to the 73% of Russians who use an Android. Google cites payment processing issues (Engadget).

🍏 People are complaining nearby AirTags are draining devices: Find My uses battery, and Apple makes everyone and every device opt-in by default (annoying.computer).

🔋 Huh, here’s an interesting PopSocket idea: The PopGrip JumpStart is a battery bank and grip (The Verge).

🎤 Razer’s new wireless lapel mic keeps your face clear while streaming/recording (Gizmodo).

🔎 DuckDuckGo has famously been free of any kind of bias, but will now demote Russian propaganda in search results (Engadget).

👉 Speaking of: we talked about this a bit and now the essays are in: What Google Search isn’t showing you (New Yorker).

🎡 Carbon-fiber EV wheels: lighter, quieter, and more efficient, boosting EV range by 5% at least. Not cheap though… (Ars Technica).

🥪 “The magic of the Japanese convenience store sandwich”. Oh my god, yes. (Japlanese).

🤔 “Do songbirds birds pre-plan nest locations, or is it an “on the fly” decision?” (r/askscience).

Friday Fun

long boye
Guiness World Records

The longest car ever made is back! It’s back, and longer than ever, now the Guinness World Record holder for the longest car ever made: 30.538 meters long, or 110 feet and 1.5 inches in American

  • It’s called The American Dream and was previously rotting away in New Jersey until Michael Manning, one of the people involved in the restoration, first picked it up off the scrapheap.
  • There’s a bit of a story of what happened next but eventually, it was fixed up at a cost of over a quarter million dollars.
  • It has a pool, fridges, a putting green for some reason, and is completely unwieldy.
  • It can hold 75 people, and is pretty hard to drive, obviously: “In order to turn, you need a real wide radius because of the length of it. Similar to the President, how he has to map out his route to where he’s going. That’s what we would have to do. We would have to map out a route and know where we’re going to turn.”
  • Next up is electrifying it with 26 electric motors and some ungodly sized battery.

The American Dream. Poetry on 26 wheels.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.