The Pixel team took to Reddit this morning to answer questions about their new tablet following its launch yesterday. Early reviews of the device praised the hardware, but faulted Android for a lack of tablet optimization. Unsurprisingly, most of the questions asked revolved around that…
Most important, the team said that a split screen feature is indeed in the works and that they are working on “a range of enhancements for Android in this form-factor”. Regular updates for the Pixel C should coincide with Android’s monthly security update schedule. Android N even received a mention from Andrew Bowers, Director of Consumer Hardware.
As for the lack of tablet apps, Google acknowledges that they have a chicken and egg problem on their hands. They are working with developers to get more tablet apps on Android and they hope the Pixel C will convince devs to come on board.
The team sees the Pixel C and Android on a large note as a productivity device and platform. As such, the team opted for a keyboard rather than a stylus for this version; leaving the option for future devices with styli open.
Here’s a roundup of the more interesting responses from the team:
On Android N: We’re working on lots of things right now for N that, of course, we wish we had, you know, yesterday. But we’d spoil the surprise of N if we shared all of them. Split screen is in the works!
On multiwindow: We’re working hard on a range of enhancements for Android in this form-factor – there are many things, like multiwindow, that we’ve been spending a lot of time on – hopefully we can share more about this soon.
On tablet apps: We’re spending a lot of time working with developers to get better and more awesome tablet apps, but it is definitely a chicken-egg problem, and we think a key driver is awesome hardware (like the Pixel-C :)
On monthly updates: We expect to update Pixel C on regular cadence lining up with the monthly security updates for Android.
On productivity: Productivity is a massive focus of the team – the way people use their devices every day in every way continues to astound us – (I’m doing this AMA in Google Sheets on my 6P!) and evolving Android to make it a home for everything you want to do is what we think about all day and night.
On the lack of a stylus: There are definitely passive styluses that work well with Pixel C. For this version of the product, we decided to focus on the keyboard in particular versus, say, an active stylus.
On the lack of double tap to wake and always on “Ok Google” detection:
For double tap, we wanted to optimize for sleep battery life. The double tap drained the battery faster by leaving part of the touch screen enabled. If you use with the keyboard, it will wake when opened. We are working on always-on “Ok Google” support for a future update.