Google Chromebooks are constantly evolving, and their coverage is expanding, but there’s still a great opportunity that still needs to be taken advantage of.
Psst: Come closer. I have a great secret to share with you. It’s something that those of us who use Chromebooks in our daily lives have known for some time, but something that the vast majority of people (and the vast majority of people who write about these things, by the way) shouldn’t- he fully understands it. realized.
Intelligent? Here it is: slowly, slowly, Chrome operating system on a tablet it has become an increasingly impressive experience. With almost every passing month, Google adds a polished note and a little more power to the environment. And with the latest update, announced this week , the Chromebook tablet experience suddenly feels surprisingly cohesive – almost, dare I say, complete.
And yet, despite all this progress, another piece of the puzzle is missing: a huge and hitherto overlooked opportunity that Google and its hardware partners seem destined to embrace.
Chrome operating system journey
We’ll get to that signing opportunity in a minute. First of all, let me back it up, because there’s a lot to unpack here, and unless you’re one of the few who closely follows the news about the Chrome operating system, many of them are probably unknown. You see, Google has been working to align the two main platforms, Android and Chrome, for years . (And yes, I know: a long time ago, all you heard was how the company was destined to eliminate one of these operating systems and combine them into a single entity. This narrative, suffice it to say, was unfortunately wrong. and loses the real reality, which was just in front of our faces all the time ).
In recent years, the Android-Chrome-OS alignment effort has quickly gained traction with Chromebooks run Android applications from native form , adopt Android type interface elements left and right and come in a variety of forms of physical tablets.
And that brings us back to this week, when Google released one of the biggest updates to your Chromebook tablet configuration in a long time – a software version that completely reimagines how it handles a Chromebook in touch and touch form. standard current Android 10 gesture .
This includes a swipe up to return to the home screen, a gesture of swipe up and Hold down to access the system presentation interface and swipe left to go back one step. There are a few Chromebook-specific twists added to the equation, such as the ability to swipe with a short swipe to implicitly lift the now hidden desktop dock (which has apparently become the «quick shelf»), but all in all , is in the sea measure A adaptation of the Android look, just slightly modified to make sense of the Chromebook’s shape.
And here’s the key: If you’ve recently used an Android phone, you can now feel right away on a Chromebook tablet family . The same will happen soon for the real Chrome browser experience on a Chromebook, which is being updated to feature an easier-to-reach design reminiscent of Android, with the added element of a device ready to drag and drop . Thread strip for easier handling of touch tabs.
And remember: the Chrome browser on a Chromebook, even in tablet mode, is essentially the same Chrome browser you’d get on any desktop. This means it gives you a desktop-style browsing experience, a difference that anyone who has tried to do a real job on a mobile device will appreciate and, in most cases, comes with the option to switch to a level keyboard. laptop and a capable trackpad. also. When it comes to productivity and versatility, there is simply no comparison between this and what you get with the traditional Android tablet.
And let’s not talk about safety and value factors: Chromebooks get an update universal , directly by Google, without manufacturer interference or unexcused delays, with new software and security updates implemented every few weeks on all current devices, no matter who created it. . Thanks to some recent improvements, most models receive such updates over time seven or eight years completely since its launch.
Seven to eight years of continuous and timely updates – Compare it to the two years of inappropriate and insecure updates you’ll get if you’re lucky with any Android tablet and see where we’re going with it. For anyone who really cares about their computing experience and has the most secure, privacy-conscious and optimized performance environment possible, there is no longer any justification for buying a regular Android tablet.
And with that (wow!), We are finally ready to think ahead.
Next Chrome OS crown
All right, let’s go back to that area that the Chrome operating system needs to conquer. When you see what types of tablets people buy today, what do you see? The specifics can be somewhat difficult to find, but we can easily gather a broad overview of what is happening.
Surprisingly, the big trend is that Apple tends to be the largest player in tablet sales, with about 36% of the world market, according to the latest statistics of IDC . But what follows is particularly interesting for our current purposes.
The second-place tablet seller, again, is not a big surprise, it is almost always Samsung. But in spite of everyone breathless coating offered to tablets at high company prices, previous IDC data indicate that «Most of their deliveries» were «made up of low-end E and A series devices». Hmm.
The next major player for the US on the list is Amazon, which uses Android as the basis for its own custom tablet operating system. And guess what? Amazon’s best-selling tablets are all very cheap, while the $ 7 Fire 7 is the first, according to current values of the site . In general, in fact, the 10 best-selling Amazon tablets consist of eight Fire brand devices, with an average price of 82.50 USD.
So why do traditional Android tablets continue to hang on to Chromebooks, too, because the tablets don’t turn on, right? The answer is right in front of our eyes: When it comes to the experience of non-Apple tablets, people seem to be looking for cheap and therefore often small options. And while you can definitely find Chromebooks for less than $ 200, those state-of-the-art systems are usually large, pretty damn laptops with no touchscreen support. You won’t find a Chrome touch device for $ 82, that’s for sure.
Google can continue to improve the experience of the Chrome OS tablet it wants, as well as those using Chromebooks part of our productivity settings We will appreciate it, but if you want the concept to take off in a significant way, it certainly seems encouraging. creating cheap Chrome whiteboard to compete with its old-fashioned cousins, second-class Android tablets, would go a long way. Whether we are thinking of people buying children’s gadgets or secondary whiteboards for their own simple use, there is clearly the demand.
And you know what? Once people start seeing what Chrome’s tablet operating system looks like and what it’s capable of doing now, Google will find it much easier to sell them by adopting the productivity platform.
Let’s not forget that Chromebooks have seen steady growth in recent years (an apparent year-over-year growth 19% in sales in the fourth quarter of 2019) and that countless students are practically growing in things, due to their prominent role in education. The seeds are all planted. Someone just needs to wet them.
Google has already gone beyond the original tablet form and created a superior alternative. Now it’s time to get down to business with Chrome and get rid of what’s left of your traditional Android tablet. And completing this basic piece of the deck seems like a sensitive step to get there.