One of Android ‘s original founders, Rich Miner, is working on Android tablets, a fact that recently came to light in a ComputerWorld report investigating the history of Google and its relationship with tablets. Miner’s LinkedIn page seems to bear this out, listing his current title as “CTO Android Tablets,” and saying he’s been in that role since March 2021. Google, however, has said his role within the company is to lead the Android software development for large screens in the Platforms and Ecosystems team.
Google may be cooking something
Given that someone pivotal in Android history is now working on tablets, it looks like the company may be doing something interesting with Android beyond phones and other electronic devices. Miner worked on Android, which would later be acquired by Google. He’s done a lot of things since then (including helping Google determine which startups to invest in), but now it seems he’s back to work on Android, with an eye toward improving the quality of his tablets.
It’s not just the role of Miner that shows Google has a renewed focus on larger-screen devices. The upcoming Android 12L update, which is currently in beta, focuses on improving the experience on Android tablets and other devices running the popular operating system.
A radical change
That’s a bit of a sea change for Google: In 2019, the company said its hardware team had finished working on tablets and would focus entirely on laptops. While Google’s hardware leader said the Android and Chrome OS teams are 100% long-term committed to working with our partners on tablets, in the wake of the not-so-good Pixel Slate (which used Chrome OS instead of Android) , it was hard to get excited about the future of Google-powered tablets.
Now, with the hiring and rumors that Google is working on its own foldable Pixel phone (which could basically end up being a phone that turns into a tablet), it definitely looks like the company plans to return to the tablet space in some way. . However, for the time being, Google has neither confirmed nor denied whether it is reconsidering working on its own tablets.
While the iPad is the main focus when it comes to tablets, Apple doesn’t completely dominate the market. According to market research firm IDC, Apple was the top seller of tablets in the third quarter of 2021, with a market share of around 34%. But that leaves plenty of room for competitors like Samsung (second largest with around 18% market share in Q3 2021), Amazon and other tech companies. While it’s entirely possible that Google only plans to focus on its relationship with tablet OEMs, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to give a Pixel tablet another chance.