Google Pixel C

Android just keeps getting better and better on phones, but Android tablets are very much neglected. There haven’t been any meaningful improvements to Android on tablets in years, but Google hasn’t totally forgotten them. In the latest Android 8.1 preview, the Pixel C tablet has gotten just a bit of attention.

A quick recap in case you’ve understandably forgotten, the Pixel C was Google’s last tablet release back in late 2015. It’s still the only tablet in the Google Store, even seeing major price cuts in some regions, and it’s also one of the few decent Android tablets available today, and the only one running Android Oreo.

Google has made a habit of quietly making changes to the Pixel C’s software to better align it with the Pixel smartphones, from adding new navigation buttons to a fresh launcher in previous updates. However, in this latest update, we simply get some new launcher features.

As Android Police notes, the Pixel Launcher on the C in the latest 8.1 developer preview brings a few features from the Pixel phones over to the tablet. That includes the redesigned “app shortcuts” menu that debuted on the original Pixel on Oreo, and we also get the ability to use changing icon shapes and toggle notification dots. Further, the app drawer now utilizes the full size of the tablet’s screen rather than being condensed to the center.

If you’re still using a Pixel C, you can check out these changes by either signing up for the Android 8.1 beta program, or by sideloading the launcher update.

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Ben Schoon

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