In addition to sharing that the Pixel Tablet is Powered by Tensor G2 and has a charging speaker dock, Google showed off more of the Android UI and various Smart Display-inspired screens.
android for tablets
Google explicitly said that the “base for the Pixel Tablet is Android, including Material You”.
And just as our Pixel phones have always been the purest and best expression of Android, the Pixel Tablet is the best way to experience Android on a tablet.
To that end, we take a look at what the Pixel home screen looks like on tablets. At a glance, you’re already getting a Some updates with the Pixel 7, appears in the top corner and is again aligned to the left, despite all that available horizontal space. In addition to apps, the dock includes a voice/assistant search bar and access to Google Lens. The home screen appears to be in a 6×4 configuration.
It’s interesting which apps Google chose to place and highlight on the Pixel Tablet home screen. We see Tape recorder in an indication that Google will update the user interface for tablets, which could look a lot like the existing landscape design. Along with Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Keep, Recorder’s presence reflects how Google told us it wants the Pixel Tablet to deliver a good productivity experience, especially with the Workspace suite of apps.
Meanwhile, the content consumption side of the tablet is reflected in Google TV and YouTube, as well as Photos, though that’s also meant to reflect how image editing will be more enjoyable on a larger screen. A more curious inclusion is the Personal Safety app. It is not clear how exactly it will work.
We take another look at the Dual Column Settings app, which is again set to Wallpaper & Style. We see that the lock screen without notifications only centers the two-line clock. Otherwise, alerts appear on the right with a maximum of five lines and icons for everything else in a tray. Below At a Glance, we see an even larger media player.
Finally, on the lock screen, we have a home shortcut that takes you to the smart device controls. The main UI hasn’t changed and is just a grid, but tapping reveals how the controls appear as a right-aligned popup for the Nest Thermostat. This UI preserves context and it would be nice if that element appeared more on Android.
Smart Screen UI on Pixel Tablet
When the Pixel tablet is connected to the speaker charging cradle and showing slideshows, the time and At a glance appear in the corner, while a Cast icon that says “This tablet” appears in the upper right corner.
Accessing Google Assistant when docked loads a bottom sheet UI that spans the full width of the screen. (Going a little narrower wouldn’t hurt.) This is the opposite of the Nest Hub displaying command transcriptions on top, while Google is taking a lot of inspiration from docked music controls. The Now Playing screen is very similar to the Smart Display version with a large face, scroll control, play/pause, shuffle, rewind, and even streaming controls.
apps for android tablets
Google also provided a look at a handful of New apps optimized for tabletsnoting how it “partnered closely with developers to make sure apps take advantage of big-screen features like split-screen and stylus support.”
- Google home page: The layout shown in I/O was based on the previous iteration. East new one it still uses a navigation rail, but it looks much better with five tabs instead of just two. We see the Favorites screen take advantage of the extra real estate for what should be a great tablet experience. We also take a look at the camera’s streaming UI.
- google cameraNote: Referring to version 8.7 on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, we have app controls located on the left. This includes a settings dropdown in the top left corner and a pill-shaped controller.
- google one: Another look at the app, which looks like the website, and it’s not available yet.
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