Google planning

Published: December 20th, 2011
Google planning

You didn’t really think Google was going to let Amazon hog all the Android tablet glory, did you?

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sea today, Googleexecutive chairman Eric Schmidt said that the companyplanned to sell a tablet “in the next six months” that would be “of thehighest quality.” Schmidt did not provide any further details of whatwould set the tablet apart from other previous Android tablets such asthe Motorola Xoom or the Amazon Kindle Fire.

But Google has a good deal of experience releasing its own devicesthrough its Nexus-branded series of smartphones. The latest such phone,Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, was thefirst to feature the Android 4.0 operating system, nicknamed “Ice CreamSandwich.” The Galaxy Nexus also features a 4.65-inch HD display screenwith edge-to-edge 720p resolution, a 5MP camera that can shoot video at1080p, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.

Google released Ice Cream Sandwich this past fallwith the hopes of unifying the Android experience on smartphones andtablets alike. Fragmentation among different versions of the Android OShas long been a problem for Android application developers who havecomplained that they have no way of knowing whether the apps theydesign will work effectively across multiple platforms.

In addition to providing the same experience for users on both tabletsand smartphones, the new operating system came with several newfeatures including a lock screen that can unlock using facialrecognition software; Android Beam, a new technology that lets userssend contact information, directions, Web pages and more though near-field communicationstechnology by tapping their phones together; and integration with the Google+ social network that letsusers host online video chats among their circles of friends.

Since its debut in the fall of 2007, Android has appeared on numerouspopular smartphones for several carriers including Verizon’s Droidseries and Sprint’s Evo series. Research released by Gartner last monthshowed that Android has become by far the top smartphone operatingsystem in the world, accounting for 52.5% of all smartphones sold inthe third quarter of 2011. In all, consumers bought around 60.5 millionAndroid smartphones in the third quarter this year, or roughly triplethe 20.5 million Android smartphones purchased in the third quarter of2010.

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