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Monday, 29 July 2013 09:19

Google thinks tablet makers need to step up their game

Written by Peter Scott

The best is yet to come

Sales of Android tablets are picking up and at the moment Apple has the lowest tablet market share in history, but Google does not seem to be pleased.

In an interview with The Verge, Google’s VP of Android product management Hugo Barra said there is still a lot of room for improvement.

"I really do think that the Android ecosystem hasn't yet put its best foot forward, when it comes to tablets," he said.

Barra believes hardware makers are simply not doing a very good job. He noted that some Android companies like HTC tend to make the best of the OS, with interesting tweaks and great execution. However, tablet makers rarely bother, which has a lot to do with the price.

Although there are a number of high-end Android tablets out there, low-end designs constitute a sizable chunk in terms of unit sales. Makers of cheap tablets simply cannot waste resources, otherwise their tablets wouldn’t be, ahem, cheap.

We are not sure what to make of Barra’s claims. Although many cheap Android tablets are horrible, there are quite a few interesting products near the $/€200 mark and many of them come from small companies. They cannot be expected to tweak the UI or improve “user experience” – besides, isn’t that Google’s job?

What’s more, it’s not like Nexus tablets are making a killing. Sure, the Nexus 7 is quite popular, but it’s still nowhere near the iPad, and when was the last time you saw anyone using a Nexus 10?

It seems Google can’t get it right itself, yet it is taking the holier-than-thou approach by chastising its own hardware partners.

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