The Android tablet space is in a bad spot. Besides a few Galaxy-branded tablets from Samsung, it’s essentially non existent. It’s been this way for years, and in my opinion, the last time we had an exciting Android tablet was nearly a decade ago with the Nexus 7 from ASUS and Google. No offense to the Nexus 9 made by HTC, but it wasn’t great. There was something really special about that little 7-inch Nexus tablet from 2013, a device I wish would get rebooted into a new Pixel 7 tablet.
The timing seems great, considering changes that were just spotted in Developer Preview 3 for Android 12. As we saw, Google is reworking certain portions of the UI to better fit tablet devices, so in my view, we need new and exciting Android tablet devices to take advantage of this momentum.
Back when people flew on airplanes, the Nexus 7 was absolutely the perfect size for watching movies and playing games, with larger devices a bit too bulky for that setting at times. The Nexus 7 could easily slip in and out of a bag, making it the ideal travel companion. If Google could recreate that experience, but with updated specs and hardware, I know I’d snag one. Even though I may not be traveling anymore, I wouldn’t mind having a tablet live on my coffee table.
The only real issue I could foresee with Google attempting to sell tablets is the lack of apps built specifically for them on Android. Even when tablets were all the rage and every OEM was making them, they never really received a lot of great content. For example, there seems to be a lot of enhanced experiences for iPads, where as Android tablets never received special treatment. They were merely a larger screen. These days, I’m not sure we need tablet-catered apps and games. We just need to ensure the existing things we have look good on bigger screens. Totally doable, I’d imagine.
Make it happen, Google.