Google says “tablets are the future,” wants to hire Android tablet leadership

Pictured: The future. (Actually this is the Motorola Xoom from 2011.)

Enlarge / Pictured: The future. (Actually this is the Motorola Xoom from 2011.) (credit: Motorola)

How serious is Google going to be about Android tablets? The company is making overtures that it cares about the platform again. In addition to getting several major OEMs to start building hardware, Google is building Android 12L, a mid-cycle update of Android dedicated to tablet and foldable functionality. The company’s latest move (first spotted by 9to5Google) is a new job listing for a “Senior Engineering Manager, Android Tablet App Experience.” Get a load of this job description:

We believe that the future of computing is shifting towards more powerful and capable tablets. We are working to deliver the next chapter of computing and input by launching seamless support across our platforms and hero experiences that unlock new and better ways of being productive and creative.

This is a statement the company could have made in 2011 when the iPad launched, but apparently, the company is just now getting the message. How dedicated Google becomes to tablet “experiences” will make or break the company’s second push into tablets. Right now Android 12L seems very conservative on that front, though Google has started some tablet-specific apps with things like the “Entertainment Space” home screen panel.

One of the responsibilities of the job description is “develop roadmaps and run the execution of our ink first hero apps strategy.” Presumably “ink first” means Google is pushing for more focus on pen input. Pen input has long been championed by Samsung, but Android and the Android Google apps have never really made many affordances for styluses. (Chrome OS Pixel devices have often had styluses, but not Android tablets.)

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