Google Pixel C Reviews: Not Good

Joanna Stern, writing for the WSJ:

You can’t attach wings to a car and expect it to fly. And you can’t attach a keyboard to a tablet and expect it to get stuff done. Software is the main issue at the heart of the chaotic tablet transition right now.

I’ve said that the Surface Pro’s full-blown Windows operating system lacks the mobile essentials and battery life to make it a stellar tablet, but when the keyboard is attached, it’s a great workhorse. Apple’s iPad is a stellar tablet, but still lacks productivity essentials. (Maybe the next iOS will bring it closer to the optimal tablet/laptop middle ground.) Google just hasn’t tried with Android. Perhaps development efforts are focused on the merger of Android and the Chrome desktop operating system, which my colleagues reported.

Walt Mossberg, writing at The Verge:

Google has long mostly ignored the notion of tablet-optimized apps. When I have asked the company’s executives about this, they’ve typically responded that well-designed phone apps can do the job on multiple screen sizes. But anyone who looks at an iPad-optimized app can see the difference.

Even though the Pixel C is a Google hero product, it lacks the software to make it great. As on Android tablets from other companies, almost all the Android apps I used on the Pixel C looked like blown-up phone apps. It doesn’t appear that Google worked with key third parties to take advantage of the company’s first-ever tablet hardware.

Dieter Bohn, also for The Verge:

This tablet is the Pixel hardware team’s response. It’s a simple, well-considered, uncomplicated glimpse into what a tablet computer ought to be. “Get on the train,” it says, “this is the future.”

Except, well: Google’s Android and developer relations teams never even got to the station.

Consensus: good display, good battery life, good build quality, decent keyboard with a very sturdy magnetic connection to the tablet — but the whole thing is spoiled by the lack of tablet-optimized apps for Android.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015