Google Will Launch Android-Powered gPad

It was inevitable that as soon as Apple's iPad hit the market, every other device manufacturer on the planet would scramble to develop their own. Slightly more surprising, however, is the rumor currently swirling that Google is just inches away from launching its own gPad.

As The New York Times tells us, Google will be entering the pad market in the near future, along with nearly every other big-name manufacturer. Only a few details are mentioned in the Times story, shared by individuals supposedly privy to the secrets but unable to discuss them publicly.

What has been revealed is that the device will run Android — everybody's favorite Linux-based mobile operating system — rather than ChromeOS, the netbook operating system currently under development. As Wired points out, Android has the leg up on ChromeOS, in that it already has a feature set that can easily match Apple's device, and includes touchscreen features out of the box.

The move into pad-computing isn't all that strange, however, given Google's recent interest in developing its own in-house hardware. After two years of developing Android as an operating system for other companies to put on phones, Google launched its own handset in January, along with the promise that more would be on the way. Making the move to pads is a logical — if possibly premature, coming just three months after launching their first phone — next step.

According to the Times, Google is already in talks with publishers to push their content onto the gPad — though one suspects that's an uphill battle on books, given the company's existing issues with that industry. Then again, the prospect of being cut off from millions of paying customers has been known to change a heart and mind or two...

All-in-all, the gPad — or whatever they end up calling it — presents a lot of promise both for consumers in general, and for Open Source. We'll definitely be keeping our eyes on this one.

Image courtesy of The Chromium Projects.


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


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And the connection point will be called g-spot?

hot 's picture

And the connection point will be called g-spot?

You're all missing the Point

meskarune's picture

Am I only the person reading this that is disturbed over the use of "pad" to mean an electronic device? Do we REALLY have to follow apple's naming convention? (I'm pretty sick of seeing letter - name on every product, and "pad" ?!?)

But I can just imagine women asking, hey, do you have an extra pad? And getting shown someone's tablet computing device. Or maybe a distinction is being made for "pads" because they have even less fuctionality than tablet pc's do...

In any case people will have to tear arch linux out of my cold dead fingers, becauses I'll never stop using it. :)

No, you are missing the point

Kermonk's picture

Star Trek gave us the name pad in 1987!

Ok, they spelled it PADD (Personal Access Display Device) and that is the name I think we should adopt, because its cool and its right. So hand me my GPADD will you ;)

(And here I would have liked to include a link to the article on the memory-alpha website, but the shit spam aggression software on this site won't allow it)

Book scans

Clint L's picture

So that's what they are going to do with all of the books they have been scanning for the last several years. Sell us a device to read them on. :)

e-Books & Android

Reader's picture

The Barnes & Noble Nook is Android based and B&N sells a reader app for the iPhone as well. Why would they not ,make it available for a gPad? Similarly there are a number of readers that operate on the droid based phones - They work quite well. So even if Google was going to forgo their own e-Book reader system - others make excellent readers that will operate nicely on Android based devices.

The issues with e-Books still have to do with DRM handling, working nicely with libraries (Nook & Sony do this well)and the biggie work in low light as well as bright daylight with generous battery life (Days!). E-Ink seems to be the only way to go for battery life & daylight viewing (and a rock steady display) - But lacks color & rapid refresh. Both the iPad, iPhone & every other LCD based device does well in low light, eats batteries & does poorly in daylight. So although LCD e-Book readers are nice they are not exactly ideal.

I'm confused as to why you

Paratrooper's picture

I'm confused as to why you have the first Google handset being released in January of this year. The T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) was released in October of 2008. Hell, even the Droid was released in November. Am I missing something?

Re: I'm confused as to why you

Anonymous's picture

The T-mobile G1/HTC Dream was the first handset with Google's Android OS on it, designed by HTC.

The Nexus One was the first handset with Android and also hardware designed by Google.

Nexus One hardware is HTC,

Radim's picture

Nexus One hardware is HTC, it's HTC phone with Google Logo.

The difference is...

AAnd's picture

The Nexus One was the first android/google device that you could buy outside of a specific mobile carrier. T-Mo has it, but you can also buy it stand alone (not cheaply, though).


tameek's picture

Google has a great opportunity here. The Nexus One launch didn't go so smoothly but hopefully they learned from their mistakes. In terms of the "G-pad", with their base of applications, and services (Google Docs, Google Voice, and on a open source platform) they can really produce a great device that's just as glam as is functional.

Favourite OS and access?

xen's picture

There is two questions that come to mind when reading this article.

Is Android the favourite mobile Linux OS because it is that good or is it because it has been pushed on by Google and the Google fanboys?
Of course, that is more of a personal preference I guess.

The real important question to me is, will you have to have a Google account to be able to use it?

I believe so, which is fair -

Robert Mc's picture

I believe so, which is fair - you have to have an iTunes account to really use an iPhone. Without a google account you wouldn't be able to re-download your apps when you switch phones.

Neither has microsoft

praxis22's picture

Flextronics builds the Xbox, other people build the mice, keyboards and joysticks. What does it matter who builds it when it's the software platform that counts.

I'm speaking more about who

Robert Mc's picture

I'm speaking more about who designed it than who manufactures it. I'm curious about whether Foxconn had any design input on the iPhone (something tells me no, or if so very little). I know that the Nexus One was a Google/HTC collaboration and not designed 100% by Google, the same may be true about the iPhone - but if not that would be where the difference lies. As far as the xbox goes (which is not a phone but I can somewhat see how it applies to the discussion) the case was designed by a collaboration between Astro Studios and Hers Experimental Design Laboratory Inc.

Google hasn't made any hardware...

Robert Mc's picture

"The move into pad-computing isn't all that strange, however, given Google's recent interest in developing its own in-house hardware. After two years of developing Android as an operating system for other companies to put on phones, Google launched its own handset in January, along with the promise that more would be on the way."

Uh, HTC made the Nexus One - not Google. It's just Google branded.

The local and the express

Justin Ryan's picture

We're on different trains of thought, I suspect.

I wasn't thinking so much of Google starting up a manufacturing plant as putting out hardware under its own name, where previous Android phones were not. It's similar to the iPhone, which is always referred to as being Apple's hardware, despite the fact that it is actually manufactured by Foxconn. (The same is true of the iPad and iPod, which are manufactured by Foxconn for Apple, and Macs, which are manufactured by a variety of OEMs.)

So no, Google isn't running an assembly line, but the Nexus One is its hardware, just as much as the iPhone is Apple's hardware.

Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

Ok, that's fair I guess. But

Robert Mc's picture

Ok, that's fair I guess. But HTC still puts their logo on the back of the Nexus One - I may be mistaken, but I don't think the Foxconn logo appears anywhere on the iPhone.

There's no HTC branding on my Nexus One

Scott Nelson's picture

Just a cute little robot waving a QR-code flag...