Google’s Director for Consumer Hardware has used an appearance during a Reddit AMA to let some teasing information about Android 7.0 “N” get out into the public domain. Andrew Bowers, who leads the team that is responsible for developing and pushing out the recently released Google Pixel C tablet, took the opportunity to share some vital information regarding the next major version of the Android OS.
Bowers specified that the team was “working on lots of things right now for N” and that he didn’t want to spoil the surprise of the software by mentioning everything planned, but that “split screen is in the works”. Great news for Android tablet owners.
We’re working on lots of things right now for N that, of course, we wish we had, you know, yesterday. But we’d spoil the surprise of N if we shared all of them. Split screen is in the works!
There’s an initial admission there that Bowers and his team wish that had certain features built into the Android OS that could have shipped pre-installed on Google’s Pixel C tablet. However, for one reason or another, whether it was a resourcing issue or merely just a decision to focus attention elsewhere, those desirable features are yet to see the light of day. The good news is that the team behind the Pixel C are actively working on smaller improvements in the software department that will likely be rolled out by Google in monthly updates alongside its monthly Nexus security patches.
The potential introduction of split screen functionality may be in the works, and it may be of great benefit and appeal to Android tablet owners, but it’s also not likely to arrive until later next year with the launch of Android 7.0. In that respect, Google and the Android platform is playing catchup with Apple which released its own split screen capabilities (Split View, Slide Over, Picture-in-Picture) for the iPad as part of the iOS 9 launch in September this year. In fact, those features were actually announced even earlier than the official launch during WWDC 2015 in June.
In addition to discussing the future of the Pixel C, and admitting that split screen is coming to Android, Bowers and his team also admitted that they are actively working with Android developers as part of an attempt to “get better and more awesome tablet apps”. Yet another admission that the Android platform is lacking in certain areas.
Even with these announced upgrades and improvements, would you part with $500 for the Pixel C? Or you think Apple’s iPad Pro with great split screen multitasking for apps and Surface Pro 4 running full version of Windows 10 a better deal at this point in time?