The Google I/O 2022, like and perhaps even more than the editions that preceded it, is offering us a very interesting insight into the hardware and software innovations arriving in the ecosystem of the Android operating system and in that of Google itself and in all this.
The development of the apps that users use every day plays a fundamental role, as evidenced by the announcements about their optimization for tablets and the launch of new beta programs on the Google Play Store.
Google Clock, News, Play Books and Play Services: beta programs
There are now many applications for Android devices that use the Google Play Store Beta Program to involve their users in the beta testing phase and, in doing so, collect valuable feedback to continue improving.
Just two days ago we reported the launch of new beta programs for two Google apps, namely YouTube Music and YouTube TV, but the time has already come to update the calculation: four other applications of the Mountain View giant have just been spotted on the Play Store with the possibility of participating in the respective beta programs and more precisely of Google Play Services (Operator Services), Google Play Books, Google News – which we had recently explained how to make the most of it – and Google Clock.
As you can see from the screenshots below, all four apps offer the usual section ” Join the beta program ” and registration is done with a simple tap on the ” Join” button. Participating users will have the opportunity to try out new features introduced by Google developers in these applications and will contribute their feedback to improve them, all at the price of some user data that will be collected and shared with the developer and stability potentially lower than non-beta counterparts.
The apps mentioned are available on the Google Play Store at the following links:
20+ Google apps optimized for tablets
Tablets are experiencing a second golden age and Google has already shown that it believes in these products, first by launching Android 12L – designed to make the most of the large screens of foldable tablets and smartphones – and then heralding the arrival of a Pixel Tablet.
We still know very little about this new product, anticipated to Google I / O 2022 but still quite far from its arrival on the market, which will not be realized before next year, however, a solemn commitment has also arrived from the Google conference for developers. by Big G: over twenty applications of the Mountain View giant will be optimized to be exploited to the fullest on tablets.
Although the commitment is commendable, one cannot fail to express sincere perplexity for this reborn Google love for tablets: these devices have been around for years and one of the most frequent criticisms leveled at them concerns the applications most of the time. inadequate; in short, Google could have (and should) gotten busy a long time ago, in 2022 there shouldn’t even be room for an ad of this type.
Personal judgments aside, let’s see the first Big G apps that will be optimized for large screens. Some of them were in fact anticipated on the Google I / O stage and then shown in a dedicated session (“Designing apps for large screens”).
Google Clock for larger screens is just a slightly optimized version of the smartphone app, but it doesn’t look particularly well done either. Instead of having a navigation bar at the bottom, the options are moved to the left side, a bit like in Photos.
Other apps like Gmail and Google TV should adopt the same UI change. Everything follows the shapes and colors of the Material You, except for the new all-black navigation bar. In the alarms tab, those sets appear on the right, while on the left there is a convenient prompt.
The second app redesigned for tablets is Google Calculator: the current app works well on tablets, but this is preferable, making better use of the available space. In the first image, you can also see Google Calendar, Google Play Store and Google Translate, but they have not been shown in more detail. Other apps waiting to be optimized also include YouTube Music, Google Maps and Messages.