Unlike the iPads, Android tablets offer little in terms of unique software experience compared to what you get on smartphones. However, Google has finally decided to change things a bit by focusing on the multimedia consumption experience on Android tablets, and the result of those efforts is Entertainment Space. It’s a dedicated hub for watching video content, playing games, and reading books. Sounds familiar? Well, that’s because the whole premise is identical to what the new Google TV experience offers.
So, what’s new about Entertainment Space on Android tablets? Well, to start things, users will be able to access it by swiping left on the home screen. It is unclear what happens to the Discover feed though once the entertainment hub arrives. It will first roll out for the Onn-branded tablets by Walmart starting this month, and will then appear on products from more brands such as Lenovo over the upcoming months.
The Entertainment Space has three tabs – Watch, Games, and Read. Watch is where you’ll find content from all the streaming services you’ve signed up for. You’ll also be able to buy or rent movies from Google TV, and of course, YouTube will be a big part of the video watching experience here. The dedicated Continue Watching option will let you pick up from where you initially left watching a TV show or movie. Plus, you will also see personalized and trending recommendations from services such as Hulu and Twitch to name a few.
The Games section, as the name makes it abundantly clear, is where you will find a catalog of games to enjoy. Just like videos, you’ll see recommended games here based on your preference and a Continue Playing button, just like videos, to resume from the save point in the title you recently played. Interestingly, there will be a few titles that you’ll be able to test out without downloading the whole game.
And lastly, the Entertainment Space will also have a Read section where you will find ebooks as well as audiobooks. Google says there will be a few previews available to let you get a taste of what a book is all about before purchasing it, and discounts will be on the table too. Overall, the new entertainment hub sounds like a useful addition that makes it easy to exploit the multimedia potential of Android tablets with ease, but I strongly feel that it should have arrived a bit sooner though.