Google Suddenly Cares About Android Tablets Again

Once upon a time, Google cared about Android tablets. Then it didn’t. Then it did. After a few more back and forth cycles, now we appear to be coming back to “Google cares about Android tablets.” Google is releasing a new version of Android soon with optimizations specifically for larger devices, and it’s even hiring high-level employees to oversee Android tablets. But is it too late to compete with the iPad?

Google ramped up its focus on Android tablets last year when it began work on Android 12L. This is the first time since Android 8.1 Oreo that Google has released a major midcycle OS update. Android 12L will include optimizations for large-screen devices like foldables and tablets. While Google has not announced any new tablets, Android OEMs like Nokia and Lenovo have started producing much nicer tablet hardware, and the software might catch up soon.

The latest wrinkle is a new job posting, spotted by 9to5Google. The listing is for a “Senior Engineering Manager, Android Tablet App Experience,” and the description makes it clear this person will oversee new Android tablet refinements and “hero experiences.” I can’t complain — that’s a job someone at Google should be doing. Although, they probably should have been doing it for the last decade. In today’s world, the iPad is the de facto king of tablets.