No matter what happens over the next few months, there is no question we are about to be inundated with tablet computers, not the least of which is the iPad of course. However, the number of tablets that have been unveiled as of late ate not all coming from Apple, so they have to be powered by some form of operating system, and it looks like a good number of them will be running Android. The question is, does Android make sense on a tablet-sized device?
My first inclination was to say that it does, and it seemed odd anyone would even ask, but there is one odd little hiccup in the answer: Why isn’t Google using it on its own rumored device?
It has been known for a while that Google is working on a new operating system (OS) named Chrome that is to be used in either a netbook or tablet manufactured directly by the search giant. This immediately raises questions for me about why a company would be putting resources into building two distinctly different mobile operating systems unless each of them was only meant to service a certain market.
In other words, it sounds like Android is probably only intended for mobile devices. Just because it can run on something bigger, doesn’t mean that was what it was intended for, or that it is necessarily optimized for that environment.
All that being said, Android on a tablet makes sense at this time as the Chrome OS is still a ways off from release. For now Android represents a tested system, one that people are becoming more familiar with and one that has tens of thousands of applications ready for download. Of course, just like Apple is having to have developers re-configure their applications to work on the iPad-sized screen, Android developers may need to do the same.
My gut says that Android will make a passable tablet OS, but I would want to wait until something a bit more geared for this type of device came out at an affordable price. And if I wanted Google involved, I would be waiting for the Chrome OS for sure.