It’s been more than a decade since Google released Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the first version of the company’s mobile operating system specifically designed for tablets. The next release, Android 4.0, basically merged the smartphone and tablet operating systems into one… and Google hasn’t really paid much attention to tablets or tablet apps since then, leaving it to third-party companies like Samsung to develop an ecosystem around tablets.

But with the release of Android 12L, Google is starting to take tablets seriously again, with a new user interface optimized for large screens. That includes tablets as well as foldable phones. But why now? Google’s Android Tablet CTO Rich Miner has some thoughts on the matter.

Motorola XOOM (2011): The first tablet to ship with Android 3.0 Honeycomb

In other recent tech news, Google has launched a beta program for its Pixel Feature Drops, which means Pixel users can start testing the June feature drop just days after the March drop arrived. Sort of… right now you’re mostly just getting bug fixes rather than actual new features though. Meanwhile, Samsung explains how its controversial Game Optimization Service actually works. AnandTech has a nice explainer on just how impressive Apple’s new M1 Ultra processor is. And The Verge explains why a Mac Studio mini-desktop with the chip weighs two pounds more than a model with the M1 Max processor.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

Keep up on the latest headlines by following Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook and follow @LinuxSmartphone on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news on open source mobile phones.

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  1. I can still recall the “If you download our software without paying for it you’re a cheat” comments from the Elementary OS dev team. Personally…I’ve been hoping they’d fail sooner. I never saw why people seemed to have interest in this distro. I’ve even heard the term Apple clone bandied about…I never saw it, nor do I understand the appeal. It simply didn’t run well for me on any of my many systems. A fresh install seemed to do ok, until you start loading up the software/games…then it’s a nice little crashfest of a distro.

    I rather support Mint or Manjaro with my hard earned capital. Being called a thief for trying out their distro doesn’t sit well with me…or anyone really.

    From my viewpoint…they won’t be missed.

    Steven B.(Liquid Cool)

    1. After Apple refused to support an aged but functional laptop purchased for over $2500 with Intel processor MacOS was blocked from new software, attempted Microsoft solution, no drivers, Elementary OS 5.1 nailed it first try, appears similar to Mac OS, when 6.0 came out it didn’t work out as well, sadly

  2. That Xoom, i have the European variant next to me and the experience still stings to think about.

    3.0 was glorious. You could see Android poised to take on Windows no less with a bit of refinement.

    But then came 3.1 and Google got in bad with the media companies. End result was that they locked down the ability to write to removable media by limiting the permission to system apps and saddling USB with MTP.

    So over night it became a large media player.

    Then my personal unit developed a fault in the SD slot, and trying to have it repaired resulted in a Euro board with US firmware. As such it was effectively broken as the Motorola updater could not make sense of it any more.

    1. Ouch. If it makes you feel any better, the battery in my HP TouchPad died a few years ago because it does that if you let it run down all the way and can’t find the original charger included in the box to recharge it… which I couldn’t. A few months after I finally took it in for electronics recycling, I found the box the tablet came in. Tucked inside? The original charger.