One of Android’s original founders, Rich Miner, is working on Android tablets, a fact that was recently revealed in a ComputerWorld report digging into Google’s history with tablets. Miner’s LinkedIn page appears to confirm it, listing his current title as “CTO Android Tablets,” and says he’s been in that role since March, 2021. Given that someone pivotal to Android’s history is now working on tablets, and some job listings Google has posted, it seems like the company may be doing something interesting with Android beyond phones and foldables.
Miner worked on Android when it was being built by a company called Android, Inc., which would later go on to be acquired by Google. He’s done a lot of things in the time since (including helping Google figure out which startups to invest in), but it seems like now he’s back working on Android, with an eye towards making it better for tablets.
Google believes “the future of computing is shifting towards more powerful and capable tablets.”
It’s not just Miner’s role that shows Google has a renewed focus on larger-screen devices. The upcoming Android 12L update, which is currently in beta, is focused on improving the tablet and foldable experience. A job listing for a “Senior Engineering Manager, Android Tablet App Experience” spotted by 9to5Google also says that Google believes “the future of computing is shifting towards more powerful and capable tablets.”
That’s a bit of an about-face for Google — in 2019, the company said that its hardware team was done working on tablets, and would be fully focusing on laptops. While Google’s hardware lead said that the “Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets,” in the wake of the not-so-great Pixel Slate (which used Chrome OS instead of Android) it was hard to feel excited about the future for Google-powered tablets.
Now, with the hires and rumors that Google’s working on its own foldable Pixel phone (which could basically end up being a phone that turns into a tablet), it definitely seems like the company is planning on…