When you think Android tablets, names such as Samsung and perhaps Google come to your mind. But, other than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, how many new high end Android tablets have you seen recently? Think about it. I bet you can’t think of any. Since Google released the Pixel C, we haven’t really seen anything from the curator of Android.
In fact, if you look at Google’s own store, you will have a tough time finding a premium tablet made by them. In many ways, that makes me sad, as I’m still a huge fan of tablets. But, if you really look at where things are going, you will realize that they haven’t given up on them at all. They have just shifted their focus from standard Android tablets to Chromebooks, offering a more tablet-like experience with their browser based operating system. At the end of the day, this could be a good thing for tablet fans, as you will end up with a more powerful tablet operating system that could be used to replace your standard laptop.
Today, let’s look at five reasons why the Chromebook be the next Android tablet that we have all been waiting for.
What Are Chromebooks?
Before we dive into these reasons, I felt it was important to address exactly what a Chromebook is. While many of you may be familiar with them, there are many consumers out there that really don’t know what they are or what to make of them.
A Chromebook is a laptop or a convertible laptop that is powered by Chrome OS, Google’s own operating system built on Linux and their web browser – Google Chrome. In the beginning, this operating system was designed for anyone who wanted a simple to use, web centric OS that was affordable. Today, it has evolved into so much more.
Reasons Chromebooks Could Be the New Android Tablets
Let’s take a look at just why I, and many like many, believe that the Chromebook could be the next step for Google in the tablet world.
1. Android Apps on Chrome OS
One of the biggest steps/hurdles that Google had to overcome was the app ecosystem. Chrome OS was originally designed to use browser apps designed for Google Chrome. While it worked well, it is a bit limiting. Android, on the other hand, has the largest app store on the planet. Imagine running these apps on Chrome OS. Well, now you can. While not every app will run properly, many of them run rather well and the Play Store is now included with Chrome OS. This really opens up a lot of possibilities and expands the number of apps available for Chrome OS exponentially. Not only that, but it is a big signal that Google plans on combining Android and Chrome OS into one amazing hybrid operating system designed for laptop use and tablet use.
2. Blending of User Interfaces
For several years now, Google has been working on blending the user interfaces of both Android and Chrome OS. In the beginning, they were two very distinct operating systems with interfaces that were, in many ways, quite different from one another. Today, it’s a different story. There are many elements of Android that Google has included in the most recent versions of Chrome OS. In some ways, you can’t really even tell the difference. That’s not to say they are one in the same…yet. Google still has a long way to go before you won’t be able to tell a difference. That being said, you will find many similarities already present.
3. Optimization for Touchscreens
One of the big pushes for Chrome OS has been the optimization for touchscreens. In the early days of Chrome OS, it was very much a desktop or laptop operating system. The need for a trackpad or mouse was clear and trying to use it on a touchscreen was awkward at best. Today, the search engine giant has been working hard to optimize and improve the touch features of Chrome OS, making it much easy for hardware manufacturers to include touchscreens on today’s Chromebooks.
4. Lack of Tablet Releases from Google
If there is one thing that signals Google’s commitment to Chromebooks as the next Android tablets is their lack of new tablet releases on their own store. Really the last one you saw was the Pixel C, which is now gone, and many people believe this was really designed to run Chrome OS originally instead of Android, even though the final produce was powered by Android. Today, you won’t find a tablet on Google’s store. What you will find is a new Pixelbook, which will remind you of the Surface Book from Microsoft, which we all know is basically a laptop/tablet hybrid dialed up to eleven.
5. Increase in Convertible Chromebooks
While hardware manufacturers don’t know everything that Google plans, I believe they know at least a little about the company’s roadmap for both Android and Chrome OS. If you haven’t noticed, makers such as ASUS and Acer are already releasing more devices powered by Chrome OS that are designed to be convertible laptops. With just a rotation of the screen you can move from laptop to tablet with these devices and Chrome OS handles it perfectly. On top of that, we already have the above mentioned Pixelbook that was released, signaling even more that all manufacturers plan on making more of these devices in the future.
What Does the Future Hold?
Now I must say everything in this section is just my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. I may be completely wrong, but right now I don’t believe I am. Samsung is really the only company still dedicated to a traditional Android tablet. Many of the other Android tablets are now aging tech. I believe that as we move forward, you will see more and more hybrid laptops powered by Chrome OS that ship with the ability to install and run Android apps from the Play Store.
Android will continue as the mobile platform of choice for smartphones, but for the tablet and laptop markets, we will see more Chromebooks that are designed to run as both. I believe we will also see more and more high powered Chromebooks like the Pixelbook released that are designed to be a desktop replacement that can also run Android.
Will that be a good thing for the market, and how will it impact tablets? Right now, we don’t really know. But I believe Google plans on moving forward with this model as it attempts to break into the mainstream laptop market with a device designed to be all you need. You won’t need a laptop, tablet and a smartphone anymore. You will be able to combine that tablet experience and laptop experience using Android and Chrome OS so you have one less device you need to buy. How many of you out there agree with me?
As you can see, it appears that Google is trying their best to merge the Android and Chrome OS platforms into one to create the perfect hybrid operating system featuring both mobile and more desktop oriented apps into one device. Combine the evolution of these operating systems with the fact that you won’t find many premium tablets made by Google or anyone else for that matter, and the writing appears to be on the wall.
What do you think about the evolution of Android and Chrome OS? Do you think that Google plans on unifying these even more to create the ultimate hybrid laptop/tablet powered by a combination of Chrome OS. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below.