13 years after the Steve Jobs iPad, Apple to copy Pixel Tablet design, making the best iPad ever?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
13 years after the Steve Jobs iPad, Apple to copy Pixel Tablet design, making the best iPad ever?
I don't get tablets… Is it a phone or a computer? It's a phone, but less practical?! And it's a computer but less capable?! How come? Why so? Sir? Mam? Please.

I tried using Apple's iPad Pro and even got somewhat enthusiastic about it, until my PS4 controller stopped connecting to it and the iPad wiped out one of my stories for this very website when I tried utilizing it as a "real computer" (hooked up to an external monitor, SSD).

My iPad Pro ended up collecting dust, sitting in the corner of my bedroom, so it simply had to go… And that's where my "love story" with tablets ends. For now. Because you see… Google might be up to something... better.

In case you missed it, Sundar Pichai & Co (they run a small company called Google) are indeed gearing up for the launch of the first Pixel Tablet, and, ironically, the thing I like about it might be how "anti-Apple" or "user-friendly" it's shaping up to be.

And what I like even better (as a MacBook and an iPhone user) is that Apple might borrow Google's idea quicker than expected! I know - so many plot twists! I can't believe I'm saying this, but yes - I'm weirdly excited to try out a tablet. And it’s all Google that made that happen. Sorry, Tim!

13 years after the launch of the original iPad, Google Pixel Tablet might finally fix tablets by giving them a clear purpose and direction

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The key to Google's great idea for the Pixel Tablet starts with the company's attempt to understand what people use tablets for in the first place; how they use them, and why they don't use them… enough! The last point is crucial here.

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According to Google's Pixel Tablet announcement (look above), people use their tablets at home about 80% of the time, and even then, they are only useful for certain tasks and scenarios. Moreover, they are super easy to misplace…

All of that contributes to tablets feeling like an afterthought, which is exactly what happened to my iPad Pro before I sold it. I had literally forgotten I owned a tablet until I noticed it sitting on top of one of the drawers at home, and that's a real shame for a device that is capable of so much!

But Google cracked it! The guys from Mountain View are giving the Pixel Tablet its own dock!

It's like a parking spot for your tablet whenever you aren't using it handheld, but the best part about it is that it turns the big screen into a super-useful smart display that's also a picture frame, your Google Assistant, your powerful Bluetooth speaker for music and how-to videos, and of course your Pixel Tablet's charing station!

This changes everything, and it certainly changes the way I'll look at tablets from now on. Making tablets feel like part of your home instead of being hidden away in a drawer when not in use is the move!

Rejoice! Apple planning to turn iPad into a Pixel Tablet! The best thing that's ever happened to Steve Jobs' handheld computer?

All Google things considered, I am... a MacBook user! Right now, I also use an iPhone 13 mini as my primary phone. Hence, integrating a Pixel Tablet into my already existing Apple ecosystem of devices would be tricky.

Fortunately, as reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has started working on a docking accessory for the iPad that would allow you to transform the device into a smart home display! Sounds familiar? Anyway… Pop the champagne, Apple users!

When you think about it, it's not that hard to imagine that Apple wants to turn the iPad turning into a Pixel Tablet! Cupertino already has the Home Pod and MagSafe tech, and, of course, the iPad itself. These things need to come together, and boom - you've got yourself an iPadHome?! Or whatever it'd be called.

As I alluded to earlier, the iPad Pro was far from my favorite Apple product, and I think there are a few reasons for that, which the iPad-Home Pod idea might easily solve...

  • iPads are generally expensive, which makes you think carefully before investing in a device that would be lying around most of the time while you're on your phone, laptop, or the TV

  • The iPad has a history of "not knowing what it wants to be" - recent iPad Pro models come with the M1 and M2 chips, which are powerful enough to be in pro-grade laptops but with the limitation of iPad OS

  • The iPad has an industrial design that looks "badass" and aggressive, but all of that makes it more uncomfortable to hold and operate; sharp edges on handheld devices should really be a thing of the past if you ask me

But not the Pixel Tablet! Google's device will be running on the relatively humble Tensor G2 chipset from the Pixel 7, and I'm willing to bet it won't come with fancy features like a 120Hz display or Face ID. In fact, it's pretty certain it'll use a fingerprint scanner. But guess what? That will allow Google to price the device far more reasonably than an iPad Pro, for example.

And unlike the iPad Pro, which is really confused about whether it wants to be a full-fledged computer or a tablet, the Pixel Tablet seems to know its place, quite literally and figuratively (thanks to the genius docking station).

And to the last point, I don't know about you, but the Pixel Tablet's curved edges, seemingly light (plastic) body, and even relatively chunky bezels make it look like the tablet I want to hold while watching videos or playing games.

So, why not take some cues, Apple? Go all the way!

Google could finally fix tablets by giving them a clear purpose and direction (Apple should too!)

You might've noticed how the "Pixel 7 vs iPhone 14" rivalry pattern carries over onto the Pixel Tablet-iPad argument, and that's because… it really does! It's slowly becoming clear that Google's "thing" will be to bet on practical devices and form factors, smart features, and competitive pricing.

Now, no one can say that's going to be a successful business model in the already uneven fight against the Big Apple, but does it matter! Frankly, I don't think Google cares! A company that makes 99% of its revenue by not selling phones and tablets doesn't need to sell phones and tablets to survive, which is exactly what allows Google to play around and experiment with different products!

As users, we want to see devices that make sense to us and that we can get more value from. Needless to say, innovation is always welcome too! Hence, if the Pixel Tablet is shaping up to be one of the best product ideas of 2023, then I'd love for the iPad to follow in its footsteps ASAP!

That's, of course, until the Pixel Fold is out! Because if the future of tablets isn't smart displays, then they are meant to turn into foldable… phones. Right?

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