Following the announcement at I/O 2023 that it would be updating and optimising many of its first-party apps for Android tablets and other large-screened devices, Google has updated its office apps for tablet users.
Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides now more closely resemble their web-based equivalents. The most noticeable change is using Material 3’s design language in the toolbar, with rounded edges and corners replacing the previously solid bat.
The app-level controls, such as undo, styles, and share buttons, can be found in the top right of the screen, while the side panels for live comments and editorial notes are better integrated into the tablet UI.
While these changes improve the experience of Google’s Workplace apps on an Android Tablet, they also signal Google’s ongoing drive to enhance Android’s tablet and large-screen experience. This started with Android 12L, a specialised version of Android 12 suited to large-screened devices. Android 13 brought those changes under the main release, and the upcoming Android 14 is expected to continue advancing the large-screen experience.
The launch of the Pixel Tablet built on the strides made in software. Being a Pixel device, it offered a look at what Google believes is the best Tablet experience (even if it does lean heavily toward being a smart screen for home use rather than a productivity tablet similar to the OnePlus Pad).
Now it is working through its first-party apps, quietly highlighting the desire to see apps tailored for tablets. Larger companies such as Meta are following its lead with updates to Instagram. Google will be hoping the rest of the Android developer community will follow.
Now read how Google has promoted the Pixel Tablet inside its Google Home app…
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