Last week, Google kicked off its 2022 Google I/O event with its keynote address. While there are already more than 1 billion Android devices on the market, Google made a push during the address to expand that number specifically with wearables and tablets.
Last year, Google announced a partnership with Samsung to create the Wear OS. Since then, the number of active Wear devices has tripled. The Wear OS ecosystem has grown with more partners, developers, and apps, bringing the best of Android to our wrists. Jetpack Compose, the declarative UI framework that allows developers to do beautiful screens faster, now can be used to develop UI on Wear OS too.
In addition to wearables, tablets have also been growing in popularity for Android devices. There are close to 270 million active users on large screen devices. Tablet-like devices are starting to evolve to fit in users’ pockets, with foldable screens that deliver all the benefits of a large screen device. The Android experience has been refined for the larger screen, including the more than 20 Google apps that have been updated to look better on large screens and take full advantage of the extra functionality. Other third-party apps now have better support for large-screen devices and Google Play is working on a new section within which these apps can be more easily discovered.
The Android team has put a lot of effort into creating tools and guidance for supporting these form factors that increase in popularity every year. From new libraries, like drag-n-drop functionality between apps, to better ways to support multi-window setups out of the box. They also improved their documentation and best practices to support large screens, including new built-in UI components that third-party apps can use. Google is betting that connected devices will continue to grow in popularity and is making a big effort to make the ecosystem better.