It’s no secret that Google is trying to reduce its dependence on ads by pushing ever further into hardware, including Pixel phones and earbuds, and its Google Nest smart home gear. At the same time, though, there are a couple of areas that the company has struggled to get any traction in: smartwatches and tablets. There hasn’t been a first-party Wear OS device, and Google’s most popular tablet was probably the decade-old Nexus 7.
The Pixel Watch and Pixel Tablet, revealed at I/O 2022, seem to suggest that Google is headed in the right direction, at least when coupled with general improvements to Android and Wear OS. But there’s a difference between good odds and going all the way, so here are some things we think Google needs in order to succeed in both the tablet and watch markets.