Well, be it Apple’s iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface or Google Pixel C, while the tablet market was saturated last year, this year has seen so few new tablet launches, which is actually reasonable considering Android tablets have not been doing as aspected even after the launch of Android 7. Well, it looks like Samsung thinks it’s a good time for a new tablet. The company just released in Vietnam Galaxy Tab A 8.0, an 8-inch tablet. It has been priced at VND 6,490,000 (roughly Rs. 18,200).
The tab has an 8-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels) display, a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of inbuilt storage. It runs on Android 7.1 Nougat. No info of voice calling support which may possibly not be a part of this tablet.
It has a clear camera bump for its 8-megapixel primary camera that has an f/1.9 aperture as well as flash. Front camera is a 5-megapixel one with selfie flash. For connectivity it has various options through 4G LTE, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, and common Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm jack, and GPS + GLONASS / Beidou. 212.1×124.1×8.9mm are being the dimensions, and it is weighing 364grams. It is, of course, thicker and heavier than the earlier model. Last 8 inch tablet from Samsung was in 2015, and it was quite lighter than this one. It includes a bigger and heavier 5000mAh battery which may be the reason of this weight as Samsung cannot afford to push battery tight and invoke a mishappening as did in the case of its now infamous Note 7.
In the wake of the myriad options of customization in Android, a launcher is like your modular setup that gives your house the look you like. While phones have been getting tons of great launchers in recent years (Here are our favorite ones) finding the best tablet launchers on Android is still a bit tougher. Let’s talk about five of the best android tablet launchers that make sure not only your home screen looks good but also is as efficient as possible.
Google Now Launcher
To begin with, Google Now Launcher offers its own launcher fully in sync with Google ecosystem and seamlessly making use of all the data Google gets from you. It gives you news and local features in cards when you swipe to the right and it shows all Google services on the front row. For a fish of Google’s ocean, this is quite a fit. A Little tweaking can shape the phone UI for serving most needs, and Google Now works even on less powerful Android tablets.
Square Home Launcher
While Windows 8 was hated for forcing mouse users to use something made for touch, tablet users were actually happy with Microsoft’s decision. If you are a great fan of Windows Metro UI, Square Home launcher will make your Android tablet not only look like a Windows tablet but provide you a similar user experience. There are tiles, resizing, and from locking the home screen to applying themes and icon packs, all is in windows style. Square Home Launcher tries to utilize all the screen estate available on your tablet screen and this is why many users consider it as one of the best Android tablet launchers.
If Square Launcher is a bit too different for your aesthetic taste, Action will be a suitable choice. In my opinion, Action is one of the most beautiful launchers in the Play Store. In customization, it is few steps behind from Apex or Nova. Nonetheless, it comes with a unique user interface that uses the color of wallpaper to seamlessly reflect in all UI for a very consistent experience throughout. An interesting feature is Quickpage, which is an extra screen on right swipe. It has custom icons and a range of icon packs with multiple customization options too. If you like having multiple swipeable panes on the screen, Action Launcher‘s tablet optimized interface is definitely worth a look.
Apex is amongst the most used launchers for both tablets as well as smartphones. The ultimate control over the appearance it gives is quite unmatched, as Play store is full of themes and icon packs dedicated to Apex in particular. You may place up to seven icons and up to five pages in the icon dock and can customize the app drawer’s grid size. The fact that Apex works great in landscape mode very well make it one of the best launchers for Android tablets. With the price being free for basic version, Apex is definitely worth a look.
Nova Launcher, in many ways Nova Launcher is similar to Apex Launcher but if you use it for a few hours, you will realize that Nova is a bit smarter in several ways. It also comes with multiple themes and allows you to customize the grid size. And it can have multiple icon dock pages too. Then numerous home screen transition effects tons of customizable options make it a very interesting launcher. The features that set it apart from Apex Launcher are its voice-activated Google Search capabilities and the ability to place icons and widgets halfway through the home screen grid cells (subgrid positioning), which arguably makes it most versatile of all launchers.
The features that set Nova apart from Apex Launcher are its voice-activated Google Search capabilities and the ability to place icons and widgets halfway through the home screen grid cells (subgrid positioning), which arguably makes it most versatile of all launchers. Be it Phone or tablet, Nova is considered as the best launchers and considering its fast, customizable and lightweight, I will agree.
Conclusion: So, at the end, following are the best Launchers for Android Tablets:
Google Now Launcher
Square Home Launcher
So, which one is the best tablet launcher for you?
Which one do you like? What apps do you consider as best android tablet launchers? Share with others in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter.
There is no doubt that Samsung has always been a rival to Apple in the tablet market and its S series of tablets has been sold as the direct alternative to Apple’s iPad, the one who started the tablet trend. And now, the South Korean smartphone giant is ready to take on Apple with its new Galaxy Tab S3.
The new tablet has a 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 2048×1536 screen resolution had it run on the Android 7.0. Storage wise, the tablet ships with 32 GB of internal storage (same as the Galaxy S7) but it can be expanded using a MicroSD card (again, Same as the Galaxy S7) the tablet has 4 GB of RAM and Samsung has used a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 to power the device.
In shooting department, there is a 13-megapixel rear camera with a 5 megapixel one on the front for selfies. Also, there is a 6000 mAh battery that supports quick charging.
VentureBeat reported that device would cost $600 which is $200 more than its predecessor, the Tab S2. But if you want to use the device for some productivity, you may also want to get yourself a Pogo Keyboard which will cost you an additional $130. Add them both, and you will be getting a complete S3 setup for $730 which is directly competitive with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
While the tablet looks premium and it has some powerful hardware under the hood, one thing that concerns me about the device is its software. Just like Google’s Pixel C tablet, the Tab S3 runs Android which is lacking when it come to having proper tablet optimized apps.
If you want to pre-order the tablet, you should keep that in mind too.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro has been one of the most impressive two-in-one’s since its launch. And even though the line of product has not been updated since 2015, the Windows 10 powered tablet still holds a good spot in price performance graphs for tablets, except that the i5 variant of Microsoft Surface Pro 4 just got cheaper.
Generally, the Surface Pro with i5 Processor and 256 GB SSD goes for $1200 MSRP, and Microsoft sells it on the Microsoft Store for $1049, but the tablet is currently available at best buy for $950, almost $250 less than the MSRP.
The particular model sports a 12.3 inch 2736 by 1824 resolution display, a dual-core Intel i5 Skylake chip, a 256 GB Solid State Storage and eight gigs of RAM to power Windows 10.
Tech Enthusiasts will notice that the tablet was launched on 2015, which means it does not have the performance and power consumption improvements of latest generation Kaby Lake processors. However, considering the price, Surface beats similarly priced MacBook’s and other tablets, it should not be a big problem.
Finally, Amazon will be releasing an update to improve the Home Screen of the Kindle Ebook reader tablets. The update will be releasing this month.
Kindle has been getting many hardware updates over last few years but the core user interface has always been left untouched. granted that it was good for users who liked the ubiquity across Kindle Versions but it was also criticised for being non-customizable.
Finally, Amazon will be releasing an update to improve the Home Screen of the Kindle Ebook reader tablets.
The update will be releasing this month. It will improve upon a significant part of the current UI of the Ebook reader.
The Home screen will now contain recent books section on the upper left area of the screen. There will be a Library button to see the list of all available books. There will also be a Downloaded button on the screen to see the books that are already stored on the device.
Amazon is also adding a “My Reading Lists” section on the home screen. It will sit on the upper right hand of the screen and will contain a list containing items from the Amazon wish list and the downloaded samples. Users of Goodreads can find their books in here too.
A recommendation area will also be there. Aside from that a toolbar on the top side will add quick settings that are used frequently by the user.
The Update is made for the Kindle Paperwhite (2013 and 2015), Kindle Voyage and the Kindle (2014).
Over the years Google has made some really good hardware, most notable and famous are Pixel series of Chromebooks, This is not the same about Pixel C.
Over the years Google has made some really good hardware, most notable and famous are Pixel series of Chromebooks. Alongside with them, Chromecast is also impressive for the small design and almost perfect functionality for the price.
Pixel C starts with a really impressive idea, a Google-made tablet focused for productivity. That is what a lot of Die-hard Android users want. It has a great aluminium body and a really bright display.
Granted that it is slightly thicker than Apple’s iPad, it holds the charm with its great looks and gorgeous screen.
The keyboard is excellent too. Rather than going with a mechanical hinge like Microsoft Surface, it relays on some really strong magnets to connect the keyboard with the tablet. It charges wirelessly so you don’t need to plug it ever, not to mention that it connects with Pixel C via Bluetooth which helps in keeping it completely wireless.
Build quality is great and it matches the sturdiness that you expect with a $500 tablet. Keyboard costs an additional $150 but it is worth it and it has good key travel.
Despite having some great looks and features, feels like a too rushed product.
Failing on the software front
Google has made some excellent piece of software too, Google Chrome is one of the best examples, but Pixel C runs on Google’s Android.
This is where the problems show up.
Pixel has a really beautiful screen. The screen ratio is 1: Square root 2, which is good for web browsing and working on documents. With this screen ratio, a user can run two app side by side at once without losing the core functionality of the app.
Sadly, you can not run two apps at once, at least not side by side. With the almost perfect 10.2″ display that runs on 2560 by 1800 screen resolution, it sucks that the $500 tablet can not snap two apps on the screen. Even Apple has that available in iOS 9.
Microsoft has been doing this with Windows for desktops and even with Windows RT.
Early developer builds had the functionality of running two apps simultaneously, but it was dropped with the final builds of Android marshmallow.
Google has kept the OS almost stock, one of the most notable customization is done with the navigation and app switcher. The back soft touch control along with the touch key for home screen stays at the left bottom side of the screen whereas, unlike other tablets android phones, the task switcher stays on the bottom right side o the screen.
Lack of Tablet-y Apps
Google Android app store is huge, with more than a million apps made for android phones over these years.
However, the number of apps made specifically for tablets are really low. Most of the app looks like a stretched version of the Phone app. Some apps scale well but right now Google can’t compete with a large number of Tablet optimised apps made for Apple iPad.
We could wait, you could wait
The convertible tablet market is right now on fire. Microsoft is doing some great work with Surface tablet and even with Surface Book, Apple has recently released an iPad Pro with a keyboard aimed at professional users and now android has its flagship too. Lack of optimization of app and OS are really a deal breaker for many people.
Rather than jumping off the cliff with Pixel C google could talks sometime in customizing the OS for Pixel C or make ist available for all android devices by adding it in OS itself.
It is not impossible, Samsung has been doing it for many recent years.
I am sure that multi-window support will make its way on Android soon, But I don’t really thing that Creating a premium and low featured tablet was necessary for Google.
Pixel C is an expensive piece of hardware and it has its own limitations by Now, taking a looks at Pixel Chromebooks by Google, it won’t be too surprising for me if it could not turn itself to a tablet with large market share.
What do you think about Pixel C? Do you agree that Google rushed with the release date? Share with us in the comments below