Phablets are the future

  • AFP
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2014 14:17 IST

In interviews with tech publications over the weekend to promote the launch of its first phablet, the 5.9-inch Nexus 6, Google has been giving a glimpse of where it sees smartphones, smartwatches and computers heading.

In a discussion with Cnet, Brian Rakowski, Google's vice president of product management for Android, said that the similarities between Android -- the operating system for smartphones and tablets -- and Chrome, the operating system and by extension, the web browser for PCs are growing. But while interoperability is increasing, they are not set to become one and the same thing. "There's no plans to change the way the products work," said Rakowski.

For the moment at least, like Apple, Google is going to be making it easier and easier to start working on one device and continue working on the same project or document on another.

However, the gap between smartphones, tablets and notebooks in terms of size is closing. Google believes that consumers have now crossed the 5-inch display line when it comes to smartphones and that bigger phablet-sized screens are now the future, so expect all new Nexus phones from here on to have 5-inch + screens. "If you gave [consumers] a phablet for a week, 50% of those would say they like it and not go back," David Burke, VP of Engineering for Android told the publication.

As for wearables, gadgets like Google Glass and Android-powered smartwatches are still in their very early stages but Android Wear's product manager Jeff Chang is already envisioning a future where devices like the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R work with iPhones just as well as they do with Samsung or LG handsets. "We always want as many users as possible to enjoy our experience, so in terms of enabling more people to use Android Wear we're very interested in making that happen," he told the Huffington Post.

However, Chang also accepted that making devices that are iOS compatible isn't completely within Google's control. There are software, hardware and of course ecosystem constraints.

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