And so the rumours begin. Google’s foray into the world of tablets is about to get a whole lot more interesting, with gossip flying that it’s working on a Nexus tablet. Made by LG, it’ll reportedly follow the same pattern as the Nexus One and Nexus S, offering a ‘pure Google’ experience with the very latest software.
The latter is of vital importance, with online chatter suggesting the Nexus tablet will have an updated version of Android Honeycomb before any other slate. The Nexus tablet raises a few questions. First, why is Google moving its Nexus brand into the tablet space?
The reasons are manifold, but essentially it will help push the Honeycomb platform forward and show manufacturers what Google expects from its partners. Seeing as it’ll run a vanilla version of Honeycomb, it will also act as the perfect showcase for the OS’s skills, unlike some other efforts.
The new Galaxy Tabs, smart as they are, will offer a specially built Samsung UX, while the HTC Flyer will use a version of HTC Sense, stranded on the smartphone-centred Gingerbread software
But what everyone really needs to know is whether this can be the iPad rival Google so desperately needs? That’s very much dependent on how you look at it. In terms of volume, it’s doubtful that it will be able to match or beat Apple’s slate. But in terms of new tech, which will prove that Google is the leader in the smartphone and tablet space, the Nexus tablet could be just the ticket.
While other Android tablets look great and have Google’s support in as far as they use its operating system, none have the full Google marketing behemoth behind them. That will change with the Nexus tablet, which will benefit from being bigged-up by the search giant and won’t come with the baggage of custom skins or bloatware.
Like the Nexus One and Nexus S before it, the Nexus tablet will act as a pointer for the industry. Both those smartphones have shown the way in the past, and the latter will doubtless have an influence on the next iPhone. Apple would deny this, but you can’t escape the fact that these are the best Android devices going and have helped Cupertino enormously.
The Nexus tablet will be a great test bed for new tech (just as the Nexus S shows off NFC smarts) and will push boundaries. Volume and sales won’t concern Google too much. The Nexus tablet will be more focused on first adopters and those who want to push things forward. As an Android-based iPad alternative, it has to be worth waiting for.