Google tweaks the Pixel C's interface to match its smartphones

A surprising update for the tiny tribe of Android tablet fans.


Google will probably put the promising but ultimately ill-fated Pixel C tablet out to pasture before too long -- it's been on sale for a year and a half now, after all. But that hasn't stopped the company from giving the device some attention in Android 7.1.2; users on Reddit as well as 9to5Google have both confirmed the new software update contains a bunch of tweaks for the Pixel C interface. Chief among those is a new multitasking view designed for the tablet's bigger screen. Instead of the scrolling list of open apps, the Pixel C app switcher now displays a grid of your eight most recent programs.

The rest of the tweaks here are meant to unify the interface with Google's own Pixel smartphone. That means rounded app icons abound for Google's own apps as well as third-party offerings that have updated their look. There's no more "all apps" button at the bottom of the tablet screen; instead, you'll swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see every app you have installed.

The last notable change is that the Pixel's weather and date widget is now in the top right corner of the screen. The Google search bar is gone, replaced by the "G" logo in the top left that you can tap or swipe across to get to the search app. Unfortunately, in classic Android tablet fashion, tapping that new weather widget brings you to a weather page that's only viewable in portrait mode -- super annoying if you have your tablet docked to its keyboard in landscape mode.

The update has been available to those installed in the Android beta program for a while now, but it should be available to all users as of today. Go over to the settings app and check the "about" menu for the system update.