Telling that this article about the Nexus 7 came out during Google I/O this year.
The Nexus 7 was as close as Google (or, arguably, anyone) ever got to the platonic ideal of a small tablet. It was inexpensive but not cheap; it wasn’t underpowered; you didn’t have to put up with a mediocre low-resolution screen. It’s a balance Google rarely manages to get exactly right.
As a former owner of a Nexus 7, I must say that I found to be a quality table. In a world where the iPad ruled the roost, it was good to see some effort from Google in making a decent tablet for their operating system. It wasn’t top of the line, but it was the perfect device for reading eBooks and RSS feeds.
Were it not for the fact that the hardware was not being updated, I probably would’ve bought a second one when the one I had succumbed to old age. By then, Google moved to the Nexus 9, which I did buy; and despite the criticisms, found it to be decent enough for what I needed. Not that I pushed the hardware to its limit mind you: it was just more eBook and RSS reading.
That tablet eventually got so slow to be usable. This was early 2020, and by then, the writing was on the wall for Android tablets. I’ve decided to move over to the Apple ecosystem and acquire an iPad. It’s the tablet I’m currently using now, still going strong after three years.
In a way I feel for the Android team. Even ten years ago, it was obvious that Android software developers were not interest in making apps for tables. I’m not sure what would be different now. Google did try to get software devs to make tablet versions of their software, using their leverage over the Play Store and updating their own apps. But it wasn’t enough to move the needle in any way. And it was arguably easier to do it back then, when Android felt a little more important to Google. I get the feeling this importance is slipping a little.
As for me, I won’t be returning to the Android table ecosystem anytime soon.