Rumor: Official Google Tablet in the Works, But Why?

After showing phone makers how it’s done with the Nexus One and Nexus S smartphones, Google may be moving on to a Nexus tablet.

The Google-branded tablet would be manufactured by LG, CrunchGear’s John Biggs reports. However, the rumor says nothing about the hardware or software inside. Presumably, it would run Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the version of Google’s mobile OS designed with tablets in mind.

But I’m a little bit confused, because tablets have none of the burdens that make Google-branded smartphones such a good idea. Android smartphones are often loaded with wireless carrier bloatware — automatically-installed apps and services that can’t be removed — and phone makers like to customize the operating system with their own user interface tweaks. These modifcations slow down the upgrade process, causing many models to be left behind whenever Google releases an Android update. Nexus phones run pure versions of Android, unencumbered by bloatware.

But with tablets, none of these issues apply, or at least they haven’t so far. Motorola’s Xoom runs a pure version of Android 3.0, with no bloatware from Verizon Wireless. Essentially, it offers the same benefits you’d get from a Nexus tablet.

Biggs writes that the Nexus tablet “will be the baseline device against which all other Android tablets will compete and even if you don’t buy it, manufacturers will understand that its in their best interests to copy it.” Of course, it’s hard to weigh the merits of that claim when we know nothing about what the rumored Nexus tablet will entail.

I’m not saying this device won’t exist, and it may very well be a good idea for Google to realize its own vision of what an Android tablet should be. But if you’re thinking of buying a tablet now or in the future, I wouldn’t hold out for this one until we know more about it.

(This post republished from Techland.)


4 comments

, ,

  1. @GrumpusNation March 29, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    If the purpose of the Nexus phones was to present a reference model of all that an Android device could/should be, how'd that work out? Did they lead to innovation in hardware from any manufacturers? Did they lead to a better Android experience from the carriers? Did they have any effect at all, or merely slip into the ether to die quick deaths? I can't say I've ever seen one in the wild, but then again I can't say I've ever seen an Android device in the wild (I don't get out much). Granted, there may be a number of behind-the-scenes discussions and changes resulting from these phones, but I don't see the public evidence yet. But if Google is working on a tablet, and given that it wouldn't then necessarily have a carrier behind it, who's going to sell it? I mean really sell it, get behind it and love it and show it off.

  2. bmovie March 29, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Most likely candidates- Military, Education, Scientific, Manufacturing.
    Most likely WiFi. No phone carrier necessary.
    I assume that such devices will be expensive, but go toward Google development and payroll.
    Think of these as tuning forks for Grand pianos and Symphony Orchestras.

  3. Lazlow St. Pierre March 30, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    There may be no bloatware on Android tablets yet, but I'm only aware of a couple of Android tablets even on the market. Give it time and Android tablets will be like Windows PCs, crammed with crappy media players, antivirus that nags you for your credit card details or it'll stop working, ugly interface tweaks, horrible third party wireless network managers, and so much other horrible useless software running in the background that eats up your RAM and CPU, that the first thing people will be doing will be giving their Tablets to a computer savvy friend to remove all the crap just to make it work the way it should.

    Mark my words. It'll happen.

    Google is probably anticipating that and coming up with a reference machine with standards that they recommend third party manufacturers of Android devices comply to.

  4. dholyer April 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    I wonder how long it will take Dish to come up with a Google TV version of the tablet to let it control 622HD boxes or above. Thus replacing the hand remote with the ketboard on the back of. And will the USB keyboard plug into it?