July 14, 2019

Android Tablets RIP

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 8:58 am

Reflecting on the past 10 years, I bought a lot of Android tablets: Galaxy Tabs, Nexus tablets, Pixels, even a few oddballs I forgot the names. And now, beyond Samsung and a few others, I would offer the sun is setting on the Android tablet.

I never figured it would happen. The tablets are enjoyable. Apple’s iPad continues to be tremendously popular and the Android tablet is the best alternative. Or is it?

This article from Android authority wraps things up nicely for the life and death of the Android tablet. As I’ve written before, the issue is that aside from Android Honeycomb, the operating system was never optimized for Android apps. Effectively, what you get on an Android app is a blown-up version of what you see on an Android phone with little or no optimization for the larger screen or interface.

Unlike Apple, Google never tossed a bone to its tablet app developers, lowering the incentive to do creative things on an Android tablet. The result was a dearth of specific apps, driving tablet users to the iPad.

As time went on, the variety of devices dwindled. I really enjoyed the Nexus tablets and wrote a few titles on the line. Many users wrote enthusiastic emails. Specifically, when the Nexus tablets started to die (usually two years after purchase), I received a ton of email lamenting the loss and wondering why a replacement Nexus tablet wasn’t available.

The Pixel C tablet was marvelous. I think I had two of them. But they died ugly deaths with no replacement available.

I owned the original Galaxy Tab, a bulky, awkward device, but thoroughly enjoyable and a sign of things to come. I believe I’ve had every Galaxy Tab model since then, ending with my current Tab S4. Samsung has sought ways to make the Tab useful and it still has wide support today — but from Samsung, not Google.

Moving forward, I think Samsung will still try, but it won’t surprise me if they develop their own in-house operating system and leave Android behind. Android phones will continue to be alive and active, with plenty of useful apps, but I think the sunset for the Android Tablet is finally upon us.

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