Along with sharing that the Pixel tablet is powered by Tensor G2 and has a charging speaker dock, Google showed off more information about the Android UI and several Smart Display-inspired screens.
android for tablet
Google has explicitly stated that “the basis of Pixel Tablet is Android, including Material You”.
And just as our Pixel phones have always been the best and purest expression of Android, Pixel Tablet is the best way to experience Android on a tablet.
To that end, we see what the Pixel home screen looks like on tablets. At a Glance, which is already getting a few upgrades with the Pixel 7, appears in the top corner and is left-aligned again, despite all that horizontal space available. Besides apps, the dock includes a search bar with voice/assistant access and Google Lens. The home screen appears to be in a 6×4 configuration.
It’s interesting to know which apps Google has chosen to place and highlight on the Pixel tablet’s home screen. We see Recorder in an indication that Google will update the UI for tablets, which might look a lot like the existing landscape design. Along with Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Keep, Recorder’s presence reflects how Google told us it wanted the Pixel tablet to provide a good productivity experience, especially with the Workspace app suite.
Meanwhile, the content consumption side of the tablet is mirrored by Google TV and YouTube, as well as Photos, although this is also meant to reflect how much more enjoyable image editing will be on a larger screen. . A more curious inclusion is the personal security app. It is unclear exactly how this will work.
We have another look at the double-column Settings app, which is again set to Wallpaper & Style. We see that the lock screen without any notifications just centers the two-line clock. Otherwise, alerts appear on the right with up to five rows 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 is unchanged and just a grid, but tapping reveals how the controls appear as a right-aligned pop-up for the Nest Thermostat. This UI preserves context and it would be nice if this element appeared more on Android.
Smart Display UI on Pixel tablet
When the Pixel tablet is docked in the charging speaker dock and playing slideshows, the time and At a Glance appear in the corner, while the top right corner has a Cast icon that says ” This tablet.
Accessing Google Assistant while docked loads a bottom leaf UI that spans the full width of the screen. (Going a little narrower wouldn’t hurt.) It’s the opposite of the Nest Hub which shows command transcriptions at the top, while Google draws heavily on anchored music commands. The Now Playing screen is very similar to the Smart Display version with a large cover, slider, play/pause, shuffle, rewind and even streaming controls.
Android tablet apps
Google also provided a preview of a handful of new tablet-optimized apps and noted how it “has partnered closely with developers to ensure apps take advantage of big-screen features like the Screen shared and pen support”.
- Google Home: The design shown at I/O was based on the previous iteration. This new one still uses a navigation rail, but looks much better with five tabs instead of just two. We see the Favorites screen taking advantage of the extra space for what should be a great tablet experience. We also take a look at the camera feed UI.
- Google Camera: Taking inspiration from version 8.7 on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, we have app controls housed 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 is still not live yet.
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