After years of neglect, Google is finally getting serious about Android tablets. Google’s first real effort in recent years for large screen devices came in Android 12L, which brought along some much-needed UI optimizations for tablets and foldables. But many felt that Google should lead by the example and release its own Android tablet to showcase its commitment to large form factor. At Google I/O 2022, Google gave us the first look at the Pixel Tablet, a widescreen Android tablet that will arrive sometime in 2023. While details about the tablet’s hardware remain scarce at this point, it looks like it could arrive with USI pen support.
Codenamed A Google tablet Tangor has been spotted on the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) website. The listing confirms that the tablet in question has been certified by USI as being compliant with the USI Stylus and the Device specification. Sadly, the listing doesn’t reveal much beyond the device codename. We aren’t aware of any other Google tablet in the works besides the Pixel Tablet, so it’s highly likely this is the upcoming Google tablet.
For the unaware, USI is an organization that maintains a standard specification for interoperable styluses that can work on a wide variety of touchscreen devices, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Google has been a member of USI since 2018 and has already added support for USI in Chrome OS.
The Google Pixel Tablet supporting USI styluses will indeed be a great thing, allowing Android apps to support exciting new use cases on tablet form factor. The team behind Android tablets has already expressed interest in pen input. “If tablets really are going to become this new device for people to be creative and productive, what new apps would take advantage of people who may be doing things stylus-enabled out of the gate?” said Google’s CTO of tablets, Rich Miner, during The Android Show livestream in March.