Skip to main content

Google Has Failed With Tablets


I've written a lot about the new iPad Pro and Surface Pro in the last few weeks, comparing and contrasting the different products and their paths in their respective parent's evolutionary path. What I haven't included in that discussion is Android.

There's a good reason for that: Google hasn't managed to get its collective head around how tablets should work, why people buy them and how to persuade developers to rebuild apps to work on a bigger screen.

Samsung has done a good job of working around those limitations in the past, but the limitations remain nonetheless. And in truth the best size for an Android tablet is 8" because at that size blown up Android phone apps remain viable.

The latest round of Android tablets from Samsung adds stylus support (yay!) and throws out the 8" model completely (boo!)

In terms of hardware the Galaxy Tab S3 is close to the iPad Pro in many areas. In terms of software, well let's just say it isn't. 

Yet Samsung has priced the Tab S3 to match the iPad and it's a weight it just can't carry. Yes it includes the keyboard and stylus in its price tag but it needs broad app support to be of value to more than a small percentage of buyers.

Android tablet buyers tend to be looking for very basic features from their tablet - the ability to browse, play some games, perhaps listen to some music. Cheaper Android tablets achieve this just as well as the Tab S3. Cheap tablets make up the bulk of Android tablet sales.

It is perhaps for this reason Samsung has started building Windows tablets again and last year's TabPro S - which had many flaws - has been replaced by the much improved Galaxy Book, in two sizes to closely match the iPad Pro.

Whether Google will take this reversal and use it to consolidate everything around Chrome OS remains to be seen. Its inability to solve its tablet problems suggest we'll be waiting a while before seeing tablet features added to Android and when they are there probably won't be many high end users left to enjoy them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.