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The Android hardware truth Google won’t tell you | #android | #cybersecurity | #informationsecurity


As the gatekeeper of Android, Google frequently finds itself in an awkward position. The company has its own platform-wide priorities and ways it wants its ecosystems to evolve, but it also has the goals of all the third-party manufacturers that create hardware for those virtual environments to consider.

And guess what? Google’s priorities and the desires of the companies making the bulk of the devices don’t always align. And that forces Google to do a delicate dance in order to push forward with its own plans without saying anything that’d go directly against a device-maker’s interests.

Well, it’s time to stop beating around the bush and just say what Google won’t openly acknowledge: You should not be buying an Android tablet in 2020. Period.

It’s a pretty hefty meatball to toss out there, I realize, and a funny thing to hear in a column about Android — but it’s something we’ve been building up to for quite a while now. And if you’ve been paying careful attention, it really shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise.

The reason behind it, in fact, is actually quite simple.

The Android tablet’s awkward arc

Before we get into the true trouble with Android tablets today, we need to briefly revisit their origins — because Android tablets really are an unusual category of devices with a complicated beginning, and that awkward start informs a lot of what’s happening now.

Back in the early days, y’see, Google didn’t have a great way for Android to exist in a “big-screen” form. (I put “big-screen” in quotes because the earliest Android tablets weren’t much bigger than our current Android phones. Hey, it’s all relative.) So in 2010, after Apple unveiled its first magical and revolutionary iPad, Android device-makers desperate to compete in the newly established arena rushed to cobble together their own half-baked answers.

Most prominently, Samsung spewed out its inaugural Galaxy Tab — a 7″ slate that ran Android 2.2, worked exactly like a phone, and even let you make and receive calls with your own SIM card in certain scenarios. So, yeah: It was more or less just a big phone.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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