Motorola, the Lenovo-owned subsidiary responsible for some of the best — and most modular — budget smartphones around, might be turning its attention to tablets. Reports suggest the company is working on a large, premium device that packs innovative productivity software unlike any other.
There is not much to go on, yet, but here is what we know about Motorola’s 2017 tablet so far.
The most innovative piece about Motorola’s upcoming table is the software, reportedly.
According to Android Police, it will ship with “productivity mode,” a feature that lets you pin apps to the navigation bar and quickly switch between them without having to return to the home screen or Android’s multitasking menu. It appears to have a dedicated app drawer button on the navigation bar, like Google’s Chrome OS, and the ability to run two apps side by side. You can reportedly close apps by long-pressing on an icon and dragging it up, which Android Police speculates means that apps run in the background until explicitly closed.
There is a slim chance Motorola’s 2017 tablet runs Andromeda, the rumored Google operating system meant to bridge the gap between Android and Chrome OS. In September 2016, 9to5Google reported that two “major OEMs” were in the process of creating Andromeda devices and that the devices could launch as soon as the first half of 2017. Motorola could be one of them.
But as 9to5Google points out, the interface bears a resemblance to Lenovo’s current tablet software. The Yoga Book, for example, has identical navigation buttons.
Motorola has a history — albeit a brief one — of collaborating with Google on cutting-edge software. The firm’s Xoom tablet was the first to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the first version of Google’s Android operating system optimized for tablets.
Specs and screen
We do not know much about the tablet’s hardware, yet, but an Android Police source gave a little to go on.
It will reportedly measure between nine to 10 inches diagonally, and have a “premium look and feel.” At least one version will offer cellular connectivity. But the rest of the hardware remains shrouded in mystery — we do not know the screen’s resolution, the processor, or the storage configurations.
Name, price, and availability
The name, price, and release date of Motorola’s 2017 tablet are just as much a mystery as the rest of it. If it is running Google’s futuristic Andromeda, it might launch at the search giant’s I/O developer conference in May. On the other hand, if it ships with vanilla Android, it might be announced later in the year.
Whenever Motorola’s 2017 tablet launches, it will almost certainly be cheaper than the Xoom. It started at $600 — about the price of a 32GB iPad.