Time to call it: The Chromebook is a new Android tablet
October 11, 2017 - chromebook
Riddle me this, dear reader: If you’ve got a device that looks like a tablet, acts like a tablet, and runs Android apps, what do we call it?
Odds are, your tummy answer is “an Android tablet” — right? (Either that, or “a parsnip.” But seriously, if that’s what we thought, find evident counseling.)
What I’m indeed describing, as we might guessed, is a automobile Chromebook. But for all unsentimental functions during this point, it radically is an Android tablet. And all signs advise it — not a normal Android-based line-up — is a destiny of a large-screened “Android” experience. There’s an evidence to be made, in fact, that we should never buy a normal Android inscription again. And crazy as it might sound, that seems to be precisely what Google wants.
I swear I’m not off my rocker. (Okay, maybe usually a little. we mean, if we’re being totally honest, we did come adult with that parsnip thing a notation ago.) The law is that there’s a lot going on here, and as someone meddlesome in record — or even usually someone who spasmodic enjoys caressing it — it’s good value your while to consider.
If it looks like a steep and quacks like a duck…
Let’s start with a unsentimental side of things. Take a notation and contemplate this: What does a normal Android inscription do that a automobile Chromebook doesn’t?
No matter how prolonged we mull, it’s tough to come adult with much. Nowadays, a Chromebook runs a same apps from a same Google Play Store. It has an increasingly identical user interface, with a new touch-friendly and Android-reminiscent app launcher rolling out as we speak.
It’s expected to have an Android-like approach of removing around a system before long, too, not to discuss local formation of a Google Assistant (which is rising with a newly announced Pixelbook and afterwards presumably swelling to other inclination from there).
But on tip of all of that, a Chromebook offers suggestive advantages a normal Android inscription simply can’t match. It operates within a fast-booting, inherently secure, and giveaway from manufacturer- or carrier-meddling Chrome OS environment. The handling complement is updated every dual to 3 weeks, directly by Google, for a smallest of 5 years. That’s a pointy contrariety to a software realities we see on Android — and if we consider a updates on Android phones are bad, let me tell you: The conditions with Android tablets is worse.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2, for instance — arguably a highest-profile flagship Android inscription adult til this year’s Tab S3 follow-up — perceived a Android 6.0 refurbish 253 days after a software’s release. The successive Android 7.0 refurbish took a whopping 292 days to strech a tablet. It’d be a startle if a device were to get Android 8.0 during all, given a standard best-case-scenario two-year refurbish window for many Android devices. (And don’t even ask about monthly confidence patches.)
Hold a phone, though: Important as those factors are, there’s some-more to this story nonetheless — and apparent as it might seem, this final indicate is value emphasizing: In further to a unchanging preference of Android apps, a Chromebook also gives we a desktop-caliber browser knowledge along with a laptop-level keyboard and able trackpad. (And, as a side perk, that means you’ve got a built-in multi-mode mount for your tablet, too.)
It’s a best of both worlds, as I’ve put it before — a whole new kind of platform-defying, all-purpose capability and party machine. And while it won’t immediately lead to a undisguised extinction of normal Android tablets, it positively creates them seem like a watered-down and archaic chronicle of a same simple experience.
The Chromebook-to-Android-tablet transition
Make no mistake about it: The Chromebook’s nearly-fleshed-out purpose as a new Android inscription is no remarkable shift. Google has been sensitively concentration a dual platforms for years — in what now seems like some turn of credentials for a transition we’re saying today.
From early efforts to move Android apps onto Chrome OS to a ongoing fixing of pattern elements and facilities between a platforms, a essay has been on a walls for utterly a while. Heck, approach behind in 2013, a dashingly large soothsayer forked out a seeds of a then-nascent though frequency identified bid starting to take shape:
The doubt everybody always asks is either Google will somehow “merge” Android and Chrome OS into a singular product during some indicate down a line — though that doubt might be blank a mark. While anything’s positively possible, it appears a stream plan is to make a dual platforms some-more unchanging and connected and to use Android’s strengths to accelerate Chrome OS’s capabilities. With a small assistance from a robot-themed friend, Chrome OS can develop from a particularly web-centric desktop OS into an all-purpose computing resolution that delivers a best of both worlds.
In some-more new years, Google’s possess diagnosis of a dual platforms speaks volumes. The association hasn’t put many importance on Android in a inscription form given 2015’s Pixel C release — and that product felt bluff during best, with reports suggesting it was never indeed even meant to run Android. Prior to that, Google had annual (and infrequently even twice-annual) inscription launches and a solid pull for inscription development. Since a Pixel C’s launch, a idea of a Android inscription has felt like a hardly remembered afterthought.
Instead, Google’s resources have focused some-more and some-more on enlightening Chrome OS’s hold knowledge while also optimizing a opening of Android apps on Chromebook devices. Evidence suggests a Chrome OS emulator is now in a works for a Android Software Development Kit, that could make it meaningfully easier for Android app developers to endorse their programs work scrupulously on a platform. And then, of course, there’s a Pixelbook — which, sum with a ongoing radio overpower on a normal inscription front, is a flattering plain indicator of Google’s intentions.
And we know what? Moving a Android inscription knowledge onto a Chromebook indeed creates ideal sense. Tablet sales in ubiquitous have mostly been slumping for a while now, and Android tablets have always struggled to benefit any suggestive traction in a market. Chromebook sales, meanwhile, are skyrocketing — with a renewed push in 2017 for the enterprise — which gives Google a built-in and ever-expanding assembly for a reframed inscription ecosystem.
With automobile Chromebooks now using a progression from easier $250 to $300 systems all a approach adult to Google’s possess $999+ top-of-the-line machine, a usually genuine doubt — one Google has no doubt delicately deliberate — is because you’d presumably wish a normal Android inscription when we could have a complement that runs all a same apps in a some-more versatile, secure, and productivity-friendly environment.
Google has effectively leapfrogged a possess aged form and combined a higher choice — and, in doing so, addressed Android’s biggest pain points by seizing sum control of a program and user experience. (Wait, because does that sound familiar? Oh…right. Mmhmm.) And now, a company’s ultimate idea seems clearer and closer than ever.
Mark my words: Chromebooks are a future. Traditional tablets are a past. And no matter how we demeanour during it, that’s a really good thing — both for Google and for us as users.