There’s a reason why the word tablet is synonymous with the iPad . Every year, Apple makes small changes to the iPadOS’s tablet operating system’s user interface to optimize the experience of using it on a larger screen: two-column views, a permanent taskbar, and cursor support, not to mention. A respectable number of first and third party apps that use extra space. You won’t find the same refinements on Google’s Android powered tablets

Most Android tablets feel like an explosive version of an Android smartphone, and Google’s interest in optimizing the experience has waned and waned over the years. In 2011 there was Android Honeycomb, which had resizable widgets; And in 2016 Android Nougat added the ability to make split-screen apps for easy multitasking. Now, there are Android 12L and Android 13. Both are currently in beta, but both bring the biggest changes we’ve seen to the interface.

Why now? There are about 270 million active large-screen mobile devices running Android. But the change seems to be a response to the huge growth of the computer industry during the epidemic due to the need for screens for remote work and virtual schooling to create an improved Android tablet experience. In 2019, manufacturers shipped about 144 million tablets but it reached 163 million in 2020 and 168 million in 2021, according to IDC.

Unwritten blade

Google Maps

Photographer: Google

Android 12L, launched in beta in late 2021, creates a refreshing interface for large-screen devices. With the expanded screen, you will now see a separate column in the notification drawer; Now there’s a permanent taskbar at the bottom of the screen that lets you quickly open apps in split-screen mode; And apps will automatically adapt to use extra screen space. It is expected to launch on certain devices this summer.

These improvements carry over to Android 13, which is expected to launch later. Upcoming versions add more to the tablet, such as better stylus support and palm rejection, optimized screensavers and new widgets, as well as faster and more efficient profile switching, making it easier to switch your child’s account when you hand the tablet to them. Makes. Android 13 will make it easier to open multiple instances of the same app together.

Scott Blankenstein, Google’s senior director of product management, says the demand and use for tablets is growing for both productivity and entertainment, and that’s why Google is rushing to build Android 12L without having to wait for these tablet enhancements to roll to Android 13. This could mean a bit faster track that more devices will install Android 12L before the end of the year, where Android 13 will probably land on most tablets in 2023 because of how long it takes companies like Samsung and Lenovo to roll out Android updates.

Applications are also a major part of this re-focus on tablets. “The app experience has to be great, and it has to start with Google,” said Blankenstein. That’s why the company will update more than 20 Google apps in the coming weeks, including tablet optimization, from a redesigned YouTube Music app to a more space-conscious Google Maps app.