Yesterday Google made a slew of announcements, one of my favorites being the family plan for Google Play Music, but there was a surprise in their reveal of the Pixel C. This is an Android tablet, with an optional physical keyboard, that is meant to compete with the likes of the Microsoft Surface and the iPad Pro.
I’ve been reading some of the reviews of the device, and most of them are somewhat ‘meh’. The overall positive comment is that the build of the device is very solid, and that the keyboard, with its magnetic hinge is really well done. The questions start to come when considering why Google chose to put on Android instead of ChromeOS?
Many people feel that tablet Android is nowhere near the capability of iOS when it comes to very large screens. Apple has been touting iOS as a laptop replacement for a long time, and has helped to build the iPad into a device that is designed to accommodate applications in many varying sizes. Apart from some of the big name applications, such as Microsoft Office, Android doesn’t seem to have as much attention on large screen productivity applications. Perhaps this tablet is an attempt to change that ecosystem?
My biggest concern is if Google is at all considering retiring ChromeOS and going to a more robust Android. I’ve been using a Chromebook for almost a year now as a portable laptop and overall I’ve been happy with it. It’s barebones enough to be cheap and simple, but that means it’s also lacking in higher end applications. However, it still has all the power that most people need for basic productivity work. I’d hate to see Google push aside one limited OS for another one. If Android were leaps and bounds ahead of ChromeOS in terms of application availability then sure, let’s look at replacing it, but until then I hope ChromeOS doesn’t get abandoned any time soon.