Android tablets still exist, somehow. And people may still be buying them, for some reason. All of this in spite of Google’s best efforts to simply ignore the form factor completely for the past few years, and we don’t mean just by not releasing any more of its own tablets, but also in not adapting Android to the bigger screen sizes at all.
Today the search giant has suddenly remembered that Android tablets exist, and has thus announced a new feature, just for Android tablets. Can you believe it? Something in Android, tailor-made for tablets. Hell is freezing over, surely.
Anyway, that’s probably enough snark and you may be wondering what this is. It’s called Entertainment Space, and, well, the name is pretty descriptive. Google describes it as “a one-stop, personalized home for all your favorite movies, shows, videos, games, and books”.
It lets you not go through the trouble of hopping between apps to try and figure out what’s where, taking care of that for you by presenting an aggregate view of content from your apps, that’s grouped by type.
So you have the Watch tab with movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos. This includes a Continue Watching row, as well as personalized and trending recommendation rows from Google TV, Twitch, Hulu, “and many additional services”.
Then there’s the Games tab, which has a Continue Playing row (see the theme?), as well as recommendations. Select games are available to play instantly too, letting you try without having to download.
Finally, the Read tab is for your books, although it seems like this only plugs into Google Play Books. So if you’re a heavy Kindle user, you’ll still need to go to the app. Anyway, audiobooks are also to be found here, but there’s no sign of Audible. And of course, recommendations.
“Starting this month”, Entertainment Space will be available on Walmart onn. tablets and “later this year” it will roll out globally “on new and select existing Android tablets from Lenovo, Sharp, and more”. That’s about it for availability info, unfortunately.
But, on the plus side, Google says that it’s seen over 30% more people start using Android tablets in the last year, compared to the prior year. Maybe if more and more people start doing that, the company will give us more and more tablet-exclusive features? There’s a thought.