Google’s sleek new Pixel C tablet has already gotten dinged in initial reviews for missing a basic productivity feature that is available in comparable gadgets, like the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4: the ability to run multiple windows at any given time. Now we know for sure that the feature is coming to Android.
“Split screen is in the works!” Google director for consumer hardware Andrew Bowers told Reddit users in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session today, in response to a question about what features the Android team wished they could launch in time for the Pixel’s release. The feature did show up in an Android Marshmallow developer preview but didn’t make it into the final release of the latest Google mobile operating system.
But that’s not all. While the Pixel C is armed with four microphones and supposedly can handle voice queries from across the room, that only works when the device is being used. The always-on “Ok Google” function does work on devices like the Nexus 9, but for some strange reason it’s not available on the Pixel C.
“We are working on always-on ‘Ok Google’ support for a future update,” Pixel C product manager Kevin Tom wrote in the AMA.
Plus, in the future the USB Type-C port on the Pixel C will start supporting DisplayPort, an interface that allows people to connect devices to other screens. This is already available on Google’s Chromebook Pixel, not to mention Microsoft’s Display Dock.
“DisplayPort support over Type C is being worked on but we don’t have a release date yet,” Pixel C software director Puneet Kumar wrote in the AMA. It’s not clear if this will be for all Android devices with USB Type-C ports or just the Pixel C.
All these things should make the Pixel C a bit more of a productivity device.