Google's website shake-up almost kills off Android tablets

Updated: Apparently Google didn't mean to delete the Tablets section of the Android website after all... it was a mistake. Much of our original story still stands though, which you can read below.

Google hasn't said much about Android tablets for a while now, and as Android Police spotted, it's now taken the Tablets section off the official Android website. If you want Google's mobile OS on a tablet-sized device, you'll have to look elsewhere for now.

Even before Google pulled the Tablets section, it wasn't getting much attention – the devices listed included older hardware like the Nvidia Shield tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. Now the plug has officially been pulled, at least as far as the Android website goes anyway.

Android will still work on tablets as normal, and you can still pick up some very decent hardware like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the Amazon Fire HD 10. Google's last proper effort at an Android tablet was the Pixel C, launched in 2015.

Chrome OS to the rescue

With Android app support now widely available on Chromebooks, it looks as though that's where Google sees the future of these bigger mobile devices – this year we've seen the first Chromebook tablets appear, like the Acer Chromebook Tab 10.

These devices give you all your favorite Android apps on a tablet-sized screen, with the benefit of a full web browser running underneath, so it makes sense for Google to ditch the Android tablet idea in favor of a Chrome OS/Android hybrid. After a shaky start, Chromebook support for Android apps is now pretty solid.

No reference tablet device has been provided for Android P either, so it looks like the era of the pure Android tablet is over. Google will continue to take on the iPad with Android – it's just going to use Chrome OS tablets to do it.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.