Studying protection of Google’s newly introduced Pixel Slate — the two-in-one tool that is either an Android-like capsule and Floor-like Chromebook — the transparent and constant theme you notice is that Google simply dramatically modified direction with its computing imaginative and prescient.
I have misplaced depend of the choice of tweets, analyses, and hands-on exams I have come throughout expressing that sentiment — that the Pixel Slate represents an entire new starting for Chrome OS in relation to either its Android-reminiscent interface and its positioning as a best-of-both-worlds capsule platform.
The truth, after all, could not be extra other. As I mused in my most up-to-date e-newsletter, the Pixel Slate does not actually introduce the rest new on a conceptual stage. All of the Play Retailer of Android apps has been available on Chromebooks for nearly two years now, and Google has been making the Chrome OS interface an increasing number of Android-like and touch-friendly for even longer than that — albeit steadily in subtle-seeming and simply overpassed tactics.
Then got here final October, when the corporate gave Chrome OS an app launcher and on-screen navigation gadget with greater than passing resemblances to their Android-based equivalents. It was once that crowning development that led me to claim that the Chromebook was once successfully the brand new Android capsule — and that Google’s pivot to its more youthful platform as the principle focal point for larger-than-phone computing was once all however entire.
That very same month, after all, Google’s high-end Pixelbook got here alongside and served as a flagship-worthy house for that new multiform-ready device. It, at the side of different convertible Chromebooks, introduced a Chrome OS revel in that was once necessarily a brand new, progressed, and infinitely extra flexible model of the standard Android capsule revel in from the previous.
The further-refined or even extra Android-reminiscent interface we are seeing lately, in the meantime — with its Pixel-like mixed Fast Settings and notification panel, its rounded on-screen parts, and its shortcut-filled and gesture-driven capsule house display screen — has been in public view since this previous summer time.
Now, do not get me mistaken: The Pixel Slate is de facto crucial new product for Google. It is the corporate’s first self-made tablet-first tool, created reasonably obviously to compete with the Floor- and iPad-like fashion of getting a high-end capsule that may additionally develop into a pc by means of a skinny however well-made keyboard attachment. Evaluate that to the Pixelbook, which has the similar device setup and basic revel in however has a tendency to be located as a pc first, and it is obvious that what the Pixel Slate in the long run provides into the equation is not an entirely new thought however somewhat an alternative configuration of what already existed.
While the Pixelbook is a pc that swivels round to turn out to be a capsule, the Pixel Slate is a capsule that clicks onto an attachment to turn out to be a pc. Each and every association has its personal set of benefits and disadvantages — mainly boiling right down to a question of private choice — however at their core, they are actually simply slightly other takes at the identical fundamental thought.
The Pixel Slate, in different phrases, is an enlargement of an current product line and computing technique and a supplement to its older convertible sibling. And as Google works to identify itself as an ecosystem and increase its position as a store and all-purpose producer, providing such choices — particularly when the ones trade configurations are proving to be well-liked and ever-more acquainted amongst customers — turns out like a very good move.
However let’s name it what it’s, lets? The perception of Chrome OS performing as a capsule platform and carefully aligned supplement to Android is for sure vital, however it is been underway for reasonably some time. The Pixel Slate is an extra automobile for experiencing Google’s category-defying computing imaginative and prescient, however it isn’t the street itself — neither is it the start of any new detour.
As we navigate this wild global of blurring strains and broadening ambitions, keeping up such standpoint is significant to figuring out Google’s growth and evolution — and paying shut consideration to Chrome OS year-round, no longer only for a couple of transient moments surrounding an annual tournament, is the secret to meaking that occur.
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[Android Intelligence videos at Computerworld]