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Google Pixel Tablet might beat iPad with this feature


How about a tablet/Nest Hub hybrid?

(Image credit: Google)

We got our first glimpse of the Pixel Tablet at Google’s I/O conference last month, which featured a slew of new products. For the first time since the Pixel Slate was discontinued, Google is releasing a tablet.

There was talk in March of another possible tablet—a tablet that would be one half of a potential new Nest Hub—but that was just speculation at the time. In light of recent developments, it appears more and more likely that these two tablets are in fact the same, as claimed by the source that first broke the story.


In the Android code base, 9to5Google(opens in a new tab) has discovered a reference to something called the Google Dock. Although the name is almost probably a pun, the code reveals that the dock will charge the tablet when it is not in use.

When docked, it’s likely that the Pixel Tablet will be transformed into a smart screen with Google Assistant listening for spoken commands. This is consistent with the original claim.

Using the ultrasonic capabilities present in the second-generation Nest Hub, Google has began integrating them into Android, so sleep tracking is also possible. Fitbit, owned by Google, as well as the future Pixel Watch, have the ability to track a user’s physical activity, which may be combined with this data to provide a holistic picture of their health.


While this is a novel concept, docking gadgets to create “smart screens” is nothing new. Amazon announced Show Mode for some Fire Tablets in 2018, allowing them to function as Echo Shows when not in use. Pixel Stand also allows phones to use Google Assistant while they are being charged.

But it doesn’t imply it’s a bad idea just because it’s not an original idea. When two items have nearly identical features, combining them makes perfect sense.

This plus rumours that the Pixel Tablet is expected to feature stylus input raises the possibility that Google may wind up with a product that can accomplish a lot but doesn’t stand out.


All we know for sure is that the Pixel Tablet will be available in the next six to eighteen months. With Android 13 set to come in the fall, there’s plenty of time for additional features to be added.

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