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5 things we want to see from Google in 2022

After a whirlwind 2021, Google could make some serious waves in the smartphone industry of 2022.
By
January 2, 2022
Google Logo on Google Pixel 6
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

If nothing else, 2021 will go down as a huge year for Google just because of the Pixel 6 series. Without a doubt, the newest Pixels were some of the most exciting phones of the year. The fact that it’s still difficult to get one even now is a testament to that.

Catch up: Everything you need to know about the Pixel 6 series

But one great phone launch from Google isn’t enough to sustain it through 2022. There are also other product categories the big G needs to worry about, such as wearables and tablets. Not to mention the question of the future of the Pixel line-up now that the company has turned the tide for its reputation.

Below, you’ll find the things we hope most to see from Google in 2022.


1. Keep those prices low

Google Pixel 6 Pro and Google Pixel 6 camera housings
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Aside from a handful of flaws, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are incredible phones. When you consider how aggressively priced both phones are, they become even more impressive.

It wasn’t always this way for Pixels. Over the years they have been way overpriced. The rest of Google’s portfolio — especially its line of Nest smart home gadgets — still could use some significant price reductions.

See also: How have Pixel prices changed over the years?

The apparent success of the Pixel 6 phones is proof Google needs to undercut competitors to be successful. As one of the world’s most financially lucrative companies, it has the power to do that. After all, it’s not like Google doesn’t continue to make money off a phone after it’s sold. A user’s precious data is probably worth more to the company than any bit of hardware. Then why has Google tried to price its phones in the same realm as Apple, which doesn’t make money from user data (at least not to the same degree)?

We sincerely hope Google has seen the light with the Pixel 6 series. If it prices things reasonably and offers a great product, people will buy it in droves. It is not Apple. It can’t charge a premium for hardware just because of the logo. Throughout 2022, we hope Google doesn’t forget this!


2. Don’t let the Pixel line get stale again

Google Pixel phones side by side
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Speaking of the Pixel line, we’ve come so far! Google’s phone designs and specs had been stagnant for years until the Pixel 6 series came along. With the Pixel 6 line, we finally got new designs, new cameras, flagship-caliber specs, and even a brand new custom chipset. What a breath of fresh air after years of subtle iteration!

The question now, though, is whether or not Google will prevent that history of subtle iteration from happening again. Yes, it has a pair of bonafide hits on its hands now, but what about next year’s phones? Are they just going to be Pixel 6 copies with a new chipset and maybe one new feature? Will Google go back to just rehashing the same phone over and over for the next few years?

Our verdict: Google Pixel 6 reviewGoogle Pixel 6 Pro review

We hope that doesn’t happen. Obviously, we don’t expect Google to completely upend its hardware formula every year going forward. But we do expect the company to prove it actually cares about pleasing its consumer base by offering them the things they want to buy. The Pixel 6 series clearly did that in 2021. But what will its successor need to do in 2022? The company had better be planning that out.

The last thing we want is another Pixel 5 situation. By that, we mean we don’t want to see a perfectly decent phone that’s unexciting because it looks and functions exactly like a phone we saw years prior. You already made that mistake once, Google. Don’t make it again.


3. Make Wear OS a higher priority

Fossil Gen 5 LTE Wear OS version on wrist
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

When the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 launched, we asked Google and Samsung what the software commitment would be for Wear OS 3, the operating system that powers the smartwatch. Both companies said they couldn’t make any promises at that time. Now, in 2022, we still have zero commitments from either brand.

Likewise, we still don’t have Google Assistant on that smartwatch. We also don’t have any significant battery-saving updates to the software. Only a few months after it landed, the Watch 4 is already seeming like an afterthought.

Our review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

This can’t continue in 2022. If Google (and, by extension, Samsung) wants to make Wear OS a viable competitor to Apple’s watchOS, it actually needs to work at it. The OS needs care and attention. The company has to listen to consumer feedback and react accordingly. At the bare minimum, it should issue a formal commitment to how long and how often its watches will see software updates.

Google isn’t stupid. It knows the smartwatch market is growing like wildfire, while the smartphone market is basically at a standstill. It knows it needs to push into this growing market and claim its piece of the pie. We know it knows this. We just don’t know why it isn’t doing what it needs to do to make that happen, and we hope that changes in 2022.

We could even see the long-rumored Pixel Watch, but we’re not holding our breath.


4. A big focus on making tablets better

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus right profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In late 2021, Google surprised us all by announcing Android 12L. This variant of Android 12 is specifically designed to work best on large screens (hence the “L”). Notably, this is the first time in years that Google’s made any significant move to help the Android tablet industry.

Granted, Android 12L also benefits foldable phones, which is likely what Google is mostly concerned with. While foldable phones are important, the vast majority of consumers aren’t going to be buying foldables any time soon. A lot of them will be buying tablets, though. The question is, will they be buying an iPad like everyone else, or will they sell themselves short and get an Android tablet instead?

See also: Your guide to the best tablets

Look, we don’t like admitting that Android tablets can’t hold a candle to iPads. We love Android and want to see it succeed. However, the writing is on the wall when it comes to the tablet market, which as of right now is dominated by Apple, with about 56% of the pie. If Samsung (the next-largest player in the market at 26%) is going to make more headway, it needs help from Google to make Android and Android apps better suited to tablets.

As we said, Android 12L is a great start. But that’s what it is: a start. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and Google has a lot of catching up to do.


5. Better phones, not more of them

Google Pixel 6 Pro rear centered in train station
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In 2021, Apple launched four smartphones, all of which were in the iPhone 13 line. What about its primary competitor, Samsung? Samsung launched no fewer than 40 phones around the world. That’s a huge disparity.

To its credit, Google played much closer to the Apple playbook in 2021 by releasing just three phones: the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 5a. The last of those only came out in two countries and through one vendor, so it barely counts.

Apple only launched the iPhone 13 series in 2021. Google needs to stick to the same strategy and keep its launch slate very small.

In 2022, though, Google is expected to launch a Pixel 6a. It also will likely launch a Pixel 7 series, theoretically with a Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. There are also rumblings of a so-called Pixel Fold eventually making an appearance.

We can only hope that Google doesn’t get too big for its britches when it comes to phone launches in 2022. The more devices it releases, the harder it’ll be to maintain those releases. Likewise, the harder it is for consumers to tell the difference between all the phones. Just look at the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, 5, and 5a if you need proof of that. Google has always wanted the Pixel line to be the iPhone of the Android world. For that to happen, it needs to focus on quality, not quantity.


You tell us: What do you want to see from Google in 2022?

Above, you’ll find the five most important things we want to see from Google in 2022. Of those five, which one do you think is the most important? The poll below will allow you to vote on that, so hit it up and let us know!

What do you want to see from Google in 2022?

667 votes

Is there something you think should be on this list that we passed over? Let us know about it in the comments!