Google has shared its grand vision for the future, which includes “tablet-first” Android apps.

Google presented its recent work in the area of large-screen devices during today’s The Android Show as well as its expansive vision for the form factor, which includes tablet-first apps.

Rich Miner, a co-founder of Android and Google’s current CTO for tablets, made a quick appearance during the webcast to address what is different about tablets this time around.

In 2011, we released the initial Android tablet version. The usage that led to the uptake of tablets was primarily consumption. The inexpensive tablets were suitable for eating. Just to scale that movie up on a bigger screen, the media players, YouTubes, and other apps performed admirably. It remained that way for a very long time, and tablet growth essentially stopped.

However, Google began to notice a surge in the sale of large-screen tablets in the second part of 2019 even before COVID, with the next year acting as a growth accelerator. Keyboard attach rates were one of the data points mentioned.

According to the theory, tablets started to be better for uses other than simple consumption since they were being utilized for productivity and creativity, which necessitated the usage of more displays and gadgets.

The most intriguing aspect is how Miner compares tablets to computers. especially since tablets are more affordable and powerful than laptops. He observes that tablet sales in 2020 came close to matching laptop shipment levels and predicts that trend will persist after COVID.

In fact, I believe that at some time in the not too distant future, the number of tablets sold each year will surpass the number of laptops sold. I believe that once you pass that threshold, you won’t be turning around.

Miner was questioned about what developers could do to get ready in light of Google’s pushback. The first entails looking at Google’s newest Jetpack Libraries and other items introduced with Android 12L to see how an app might utilize extra screen space.

The second, about which Miner is more enthusiastic, encourages programmers to create new tablet-first applications:

What new apps might benefit from individuals who would be doing things stylus-enabled out of the gate if tablets truly become this new platform for people to be creative and productive? What does that mean for the mobility that a tablet offers that a laptop doesn’t even come close to?

He, and indirectly Google, think that the tablet form factor will open up a wide range of novel use cases. He compares it to how, in the early years of smartphones, many just ported desktop applications to mobile before learning they needed to create entirely new experiences for the new form factors.

In fact, I believe that there will soon be a new wave of apps that are designed with tablets in mind. What can I accomplish that maybe I couldn’t easily do with something that was physically attached to a keyboard with that bigger screen?

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