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A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a
mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer small enough to hold and operate in the hand. Mobile devices typically have a flat LCD or OLED screen, a touchscreen interface, and digital or physical buttons. They may also have a physical k ...
, typically with a
mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system for mobile phones, tablet computer, tablets, smartwatches, smartglasses, or other non-laptop personal computing, personal mobile computing devices. While computers such as typical laptops are "mobi ...
and
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
display processing
circuitry An electronic circuit is composed of individual electronic components, such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, inductors and diodes, connected by conductive wires or Conductive trace, traces through which electric current can flow. It is a t ...
, and a
rechargeable battery A rechargeable battery, storage battery, or secondary cell (formally a type of Accumulator (energy), energy accumulator), is a type of electrical battery which can be charged, discharged into a load, and recharged many times, as opposed to ...
in a single, thin and flat package. Tablets, being computers, do what other personal computers do, but lack some
input/output In computing, input/output (I/O, or informally io or IO) is the communication between an information processing system, such as a computer, and the outside world, possibly a human or another information processing system. Information, Inputs are ...
(I/O) abilities that others have. Modern tablets largely resemble modern
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...

smartphone
s, the only differences being that tablets are relatively larger than smartphones, with screens or larger, measured diagonally, and may not support access to a
cellular network A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the link to and from end nodes is wireless. The network is distributed over land areas called "cells", each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver (typically thre ...
. Unlike laptops which have traditionally run off operating systems usually designed for desktops, tablets usually run
mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system for mobile phones, tablet computer, tablets, smartwatches, smartglasses, or other non-laptop personal computing, personal mobile computing devices. While computers such as typical laptops are "mobi ...
s, alongside smartphones. The touchscreen display is operated by
gestures A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication or non-vocal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages, either in place of, or in conjunction with, speech. Gestures include movement of the hands, face, or ot ...

gestures
executed by finger or
digital pen A digital pen is an input device which captures the handwriting or brush strokes of a user and converts handwritten analog information created using "pen and paper" into digital data, enabling the data to be utilized in various applications. This ...
(stylus), instead of the
mouse A mouse (plural, : mice) is a small rodent. Characteristically, mice are known to have a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (''Mus mus ...

mouse
,
touchpad A touchpad or trackpad is a pointing device featuring a tactile sensor, a specialized surface that can translate the motion and position of a user's fingers to a relative position on the operating system that is made output to the screen. Touchp ...

touchpad
, and keyboard of larger computers. Portable computers can be classified according to the presence and appearance of physical keyboards. Two species of tablet, the ''slate'' and ''booklet'', do not have physical keyboards and usually accept text and other input by use of a
virtual keyboard A virtual keyboard is a software component that allows the input of characters without the need for physical keys. The interaction with the virtual keyboard happens mostly via a touchscreen interface, but can also take place in a different form ...
shown on their touchscreen displays. To compensate for their lack of a physical keyboard, most tablets can connect to independent physical keyboards by
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology standard that is used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances and building personal area networks (PANs). In the most widely used mode, transmission power is limit ...

Bluetooth
or
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an technical standard, industry standard that establishes specifications for cables, connectors and communication protocol, protocols for connection, communication and power supply (Interface (computing), interfa ...

USB
; 2-in-1 PCs have keyboards, distinct from tablets. The form of the tablet was conceptualized in the middle of the 20th century (
Stanley Kubrick Stanley Kubrick (; July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and photographer. Widely considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, his films, almost all of which are adaptations of nove ...
depicted fictional tablets in the 1968 science fiction film '' A Space Odyssey'') and prototyped and developed in the last two decades of that century. In 2010,
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wh ...
released the
iPad The iPad is a brand of iOS and iPadOS-based tablet computers that are developed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. The iPad was conceived before the related iPhone but the iPhone was developed and released first. Speculation about the development, ...
, the first mass-market tablet to achieve widespread popularity. Thereafter, tablets rapidly rose in ubiquity and soon became a large product category used for personal, educational and workplace applications. Popular uses for a tablet PC include viewing presentations, video-conferencing, reading e-books, watching movies, sharing photos and more. As of 2021 there are 1.28 billion tablet users worldwide according to data provided by
Statista   Statista is an online platform specialized in market and consumer data, which offers statistics & reports, market insights, cosumer insights and company insights in German, English, Spanish and French. In addition to publicly available thi ...
. The market for tablets is split relatively evenly between Apple's iPad and Android tablets, with iPads capturing slightly more global market share.


History

The tablet computer and its associated operating system began with the development of pen computing. Electrical devices with data input and output on a flat information display existed as early as 1888 with the
telautograph The telautograph is an analog electronics, analog precursor to the modern fax machine. It transmits electrical impulses recorded by potentiometers at the sending station to servomechanisms attached to a pen at the receiving station, thus reproduci ...
, which used a sheet of paper as display and a pen attached to
electromechanical In engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad ran ...
actuator An actuator is a component of a Mechanical system, machine that is responsible for moving and controlling a mechanism or system, for example by opening a valve. In simple terms, it is a "mover". An actuator requires a control device (controlled by ...

actuator
s. Throughout the 20th century devices with these characteristics have been imagined and created whether as
blueprint A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing or engineering drawing using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets. Introduced by Sir John Herschel in 1842, the process allowed rapid and accurate production of an unlimited number ...

blueprint
s,
prototype A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and Software prototyping, software programming. A prototyp ...

prototype
s, or commercial products. In addition to many academic and research systems, several companies released commercial products in the 1980s, with various input/output types tried out.


Fictional and prototype tablets

Tablet computers appeared in a number of works of science fiction in the second half of the 20th century; all helped to promote and disseminate the concept to a wider audience. Examples include: *
Isaac Asimov Isaac Asimov ( ; 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. During his lifetime, Asimov was considered one of the "Big Three" science fiction writers, along with Robert A. Heinlein and ...
described a Calculator Pad in his novel ''
Foundation Foundation may refer to: * Foundation (nonprofit), a type of charitable organization ** Foundation (United States law), a type of charitable organization in the U.S. ** Private foundation, a charitable organization that, while serving a good cause ...
'' (1951) *
Stanisław Lem Stanisław Herman Lem (; 12 September 1921 – 27 March 2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction and essays on various subjects, including philosophy, futurology, and literary criticism. Many of his science fiction stories are of satirical ...

Stanisław Lem
described the Opton in his novel '' Return from the Stars'' (1961) * Numerous similar devices were depicted in
Gene Roddenberry Eugene Wesley Roddenberry Sr. (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American television screenwriter, producer, and creator of ''Star Trek: The Original Series'', its sequel spin-off series ''Star Trek: The Animated Series,'' and ''Sta ...
's '' Star Trek: The Original Series'' (1966) * Arthur C. Clarke's newspad was depicted in
Stanley Kubrick Stanley Kubrick (; July 26, 1928 – March 7, 1999) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and photographer. Widely considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, his films, almost all of which are adaptations of nove ...
's film '' 2001: A Space Odyssey'' (1968) *
Douglas Adams Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author and screenwriter, best known for ''The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy''. Originally a 1978 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio series), BBC radio comedy, ''The H ...
described a tablet computer in '' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'' and the associated (1978) * The science fiction TV series '' Star Trek: The Next Generation'' featured tablet computers which were designated as
PADD In the ''Star Trek'' fictional universe, LCARS (; an acronym for Library Computer Access/Retrieval System) is a computer operating system. Within ''Star Trek'' chronology, the term was first used in the ''Star Trek: The Next Generation'' series. ...
s, notable for (as with most computers in the show) using a touchscreen interface, both with and without a stylus (1987) * A device more powerful than today's tablets appeared briefly in '' The Mote in God's Eye'' (1974) * The
Star Wars ''Star Wars'' is an American epic film, epic space opera multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the Star Wars (film), eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide popular culture, pop-culture Cultural impact of S ...

Star Wars
franchise features ''datapads'', first described in print in the 1991 novel '' Heir to the Empire'', and depicted on screen in the 1999 feature film, '' Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace'' Further, real-life projects either proposed or created tablet computers, such as: * In 1968, computer scientist envisioned a KiddiComp; he developed and described the concept as a Dynabook in his proposal, ''A personal computer for children of all ages'' (1972), which outlines functionality similar to that supplied via a laptop computer, or (in some of its other incarnations) a tablet or slate computer, with the exception of near eternal battery life. The
target audience A target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message catered specifically to said intended audience. In marketing and advertising, it is a particular group of consumer within the predetermined ...
was children. * In 1979, the idea of a
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
tablet that could detect an external force applied to one point on the screen was patented in Japan by a team at
Hitachi () is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is the parent company of the Hitachi Group (''Hitachi Gurūpu'') and had formed part of the Nissan ''zaibatsu'' and later DKB Group and Fuy ...

Hitachi
consisting of Masao Hotta, Yoshikazu Miyamoto, Norio Yokozawa and Yoshimitsu Oshima, who later received a US patent for their idea. * In 1992,
Atari Atari () is a brand name that has been owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by French publisher Atari SA through a subsidiary named Atari Interactive. The original Atari, Inc. (1972–1992), Atari, Inc., ...

Atari
showed developers the Stylus, later renamed ST-Pad. The ST-Pad was based on the TOS/GEM
Atari ST The Atari ST is a line of personal computers from Atari Corporation and the successor to the Atari 8-bit family. The initial model, the Atari 520ST, had limited release in April–June 1985 and was widely available in July. It was the first pers ...
platform and prototyped early
handwriting recognition Handwriting recognition (HWR), also known as handwritten text recognition (HTR), is the ability of a computer to receive and interpret intelligible handwriting, handwritten input from sources such as paper documents, photographs, touch-screens a ...
. Shiraz Shivji's company ''Momentus'' demonstrated in the same time a failed x86
MS-DOS MS-DOS ( ; acronym for Microsoft Disk Operating System, also known as Microsoft DOS) is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and a few oper ...
based Pen Computer with its own
graphical user interface The GUI ( "UI" by itself is still usually pronounced . or ), graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows User (computing), users to Human–computer interaction, interact with electronic devices through graphical icon (comp ...
(GUI). * In 1994, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...

European Union
initiated the NewsPad project, inspired by Clarke and Kubrick's fictional work.
Acorn Computers Acorn Computers Ltd. was a British computer company established in Cambridge, England, in 1978. The company produced a number of computers which were especially popular in the United Kingdom, UK, including the Acorn Electron and the Acorn Archi ...
developed and delivered an ARM-based touch screen tablet computer for this program, branding it the "NewsPad"; the project ended in 1997. * During the November 2000 COMDEX,
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation producing Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at th ...

Microsoft
used the term
Tablet PC A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device, typically with a mobile operating system and touchscreen display processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single, thin and flat package. Tablets, being comput ...
to describe a prototype handheld device they were demonstrating. * In 2001, Ericsson Mobile Communications announced an experimental product named the DelphiPad, which was developed in cooperation with the Centre for Wireless Communications in Singapore, with a touch-sensitive screen,
Netscape Navigator Netscape Navigator was a Web browser, web browser, and the original browser of the Netscape (web browser), Netscape line, from versions 1 to 4.08, and 9.x. It was the Core product, flagship product of the Netscape Communications Corp and was th ...
as a
web browser A web browser is application software for accessing websites. When a User (computing), user requests a web page from a particular website, the browser retrieves its Computer file, files from a web server and then displays the page on the user' ...

web browser
, and
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of free and open-source software, open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an kernel (operating system), operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Linu ...

Linux
as its
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems scheduler (computing), schedule tasks for ef ...

operating system
.


Early tablets

Following earlier tablet computer products such as the Pencept PenPad, and the CIC Handwriter, in September 1989, GRiD Systems released the first commercially successful tablet computer, the GRiDPad. All three products were based on extended versions of the
MS-DOS MS-DOS ( ; acronym for Microsoft Disk Operating System, also known as Microsoft DOS) is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and a few oper ...
operating system. In 1992, IBM announced (in April) and shipped to developers (in October) the ThinkPad 700T (2521), which ran the GO Corporation's
PenPoint OS The PenPoint OS was a product of GO Corporation and was one of the earliest operating systems written specifically for graphical Tablet computer, tablets and personal digital assistants. It ran on AT&T Corporation's EO Personal Communicator as we ...
. Also based on PenPoint was
AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational corporation, multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered at Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the world's List of largest companies by revenue, largest telecommunications ...

AT&T
's
EO Personal Communicator The EO is an early commercial tablet computer A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device, typically with a mobile operating system and touchscreen display processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a s ...
from 1993, which ran on AT&T's own hardware, including their own AT&T Hobbit CPU. Apple Computer launched the
Apple Newton The Newton is a series of personal digital assistants (PDAs) developed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Computer, Inc. An early device in the PDA category (the Newton originated the term), it was the first to feature handwriting recognition. Ap ...

Apple Newton
personal digital assistant in 1993. It used Apple's own new
Newton OS ''Newton OS'' is a discontinued operating system for the Apple Newton PDAs produced by Apple Inc., Apple Computer, Inc. between 1993 and 1997. It was written entirely in C++ and trimmed to be low power consuming and use the available memory effic ...
, initially running on hardware manufactured by Motorola and incorporating an ARM CPU, that Apple had specifically co-developed with
Acorn Computers Acorn Computers Ltd. was a British computer company established in Cambridge, England, in 1978. The company produced a number of computers which were especially popular in the United Kingdom, UK, including the Acorn Electron and the Acorn Archi ...
. The operating system and platform design were later licensed to Sharp and
Digital Ocean Digital Ocean, Inc., was a maker of wireless products from 1992 to 1998. The company was founded in May 1992 by Jeffery Alholm and headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas. Several contracts with Apple Inc., AT&T, Aironet Wireless Communications (later a ...
, who went on to manufacture their own variants.
Pen computing Pen computing refers to any computer user-interface using a pen or stylus A stylus (plural styli or styluses) is a writing utensil or a small tool for some other form of marking or shaping, for example, in pottery. It can also be a computer a ...
was highly hyped by the media during the early 1990s.
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation producing Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at th ...

Microsoft
, the dominant PC software vendor, released
Windows for Pen Computing Windows for Pen Computing is a software suite for Windows 3.1x, that Microsoft designed to incorporate pen computing capabilities into the Windows Operating environment#Computing, operating environment. Windows for Pen Computing was the second maj ...
in 1992 to compete against PenPoint OS. The company launched the WinPad project, working together with OEMs such as
Compaq Compaq Computer Corporation (sometimes abbreviated to CQ prior to a 2007 rebranding) was an American information technology company founded in 1982 that developed, sold, and supported computers and related products and services. Compaq produced ...
, to create a small device with a
Windows Windows is a group of several Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. For example, W ...

Windows
-like operating system and handwriting recognition. However the project was abandoned two years later; instead
Windows CE Windows Embedded Compact, formerly Windows Embedded CE, Windows Powered and Windows CE, is an operating system subfamily developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows Embedded family of products. Unlike Windows Embedded Standard, which is base ...
was released in the form of "
Handheld PC A handheld personal computer (PC) is a miniature computer typically built around a clamshell form factor and is significantly smaller than any standard laptop A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable pers ...
s" in 1996. That year, Palm, Inc. released the first of the
Palm OS Palm OS (also known as Garnet OS) was a mobile operating system initially developed by Palm, Inc., for personal digital assistants (PDAs) in 1996. Palm OS was designed for ease of use with a touchscreen-based graphical user interface. It is provi ...
based PalmPilot touch and stylus based PDA, the touch based devices initially incorporating a Motorola Dragonball (68000) CPU. Also in 1996 Fujitsu released the Stylistic 1000 tablet format PC, running Microsoft
Windows 95 Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows 9x family of operating systems. The first operating system in the 9x family, it is the successor to Windows 3.1x, and was Software release life cy ...
, on a 100 MHz AMD486 DX4 CPU, with 8 MB RAM offering stylus input, with the option of connecting a conventional Keyboard and mouse. Intel announced a
StrongARM The StrongARM is a family of computer microprocessors developed by Digital Equipment Corporation and manufactured in the late 1990s which implemented the ARM architecture, ARM v4 instruction set architecture. It was later acquired by Intel in ...
processor-based touchscreen tablet computer in 1999, under the name WebPAD. It was later re-branded as the "Intel Web Tablet". In 2000, Norwegian company Screen Media AS and the German company Dosch & Amand Gmbh released the "FreePad". It was based on Linux and used the Opera browser.
Internet access Internet access is the ability of individuals and organizations to connect to the Internet using computer terminals, computers, and other devices; and to access services such as email and the World Wide Web. Internet access is sold by Internet ...
was provided by
DECT Digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (Digital European cordless telecommunications), usually known by the acronym DECT, is a standard primarily used for creating cordless telephone systems. It originated in Europe, where it is the common ...
DMAP, only available in Europe and provided up to 10Mbit/s. The device had 16 MB storage, 32 MB of RAM and x86 compatible 166 MHz "Geode"-Microcontroller by
National Semiconductor National Semiconductor was an United States of America, American Semiconductor manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturer which specialized in analogue electronics, analog devices and subsystems, formerly with headquarters in Santa Clara, Californ ...
. The screen was 10.4" or 12.1" and was touch sensitive. It had slots for SIM cards to enable support of television set-up box. FreePad were sold in Norway and the Middle East; but the company was dissolved in 2003.
Sony , commonly stylized as SONY, is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. As a major technology company, it operates as one of the world's la ...

Sony
released its Airboard tablet in Japan in late 2000 with full wireless Internet capabilities. In the late 1990s, Microsoft launched the
Handheld PC A handheld personal computer (PC) is a miniature computer typically built around a clamshell form factor and is significantly smaller than any standard laptop A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable pers ...
platform using their Windows CE operating system; while most devices were not tablets, a few touch enabled tablets were released on the platform such as the
Fujitsu is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational information and communications technology equipment and services corporation, established in 1935 and headquartered in Tokyo. Fujitsu is the world's sixth-largest Information technology, I ...

Fujitsu
PenCentra 130 or
Siemens Siemens AG ( ) is a German Multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe headquartered in Munich with branch offices abroad. The principal ...

Siemens
's SIMpad. Microsoft took a more significant approach to tablets in 2002 as it attempted to define the Microsoft Tablet PC as a mobile computer for field work in business, though their devices failed, mainly due to pricing and
usability Usability can be described as the capacity of a system to provide a condition for its users to perform the tasks safely, effectively, and efficiently while enjoying the experience. In software engineering, usability is the degree to which a soft ...

usability
decisions that limited them to their original purpose – such as the existing devices being too heavy to be held with one hand for extended periods, and having legacy applications created for desktop interfaces and not well adapted to the slate format.
Nokia Nokia Corporation (natively Nokia Oyj, referred to as Nokia) is a Finnish multinational corporation, multinational telecommunications industry, telecommunications, technology company, information technology, and consumer electronics corporatio ...

Nokia
had plans for an Internet tablet since before 2000. An early model was test manufactured in 2001, the Nokia M510, which was running on EPOC and featuring an
Opera Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a ...
browser, speakers and a 10-inch 800×600 screen, but it was not released because of fears that the market was not ready for it. Nokia entered the tablet space in May 2005 with the Nokia 770 running
Maemo Maemo is a software platform originally developed by Nokia, now developed by the Free software movement, community, for smartphones and Internet tablets. The platform comprises both the Maemo operating system and Software development kit, SDK. M ...

Maemo
, a Debian-based Linux distribution custom-made for their
Internet tablet A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer small enough to hold and operate in the hand. Mobile devices typically have a flat LCD or OLED screen, a touchscree ...
line. The
user interface In the industrial design field of human–computer interaction, a user interface (UI) is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine fr ...
and
application framework In computer programming, an application framework consists of a software framework used by software developers to implement the standard structure of application software. Application frameworks became popular with the rise of graphical user inter ...
layer, named Hildon, was an early instance of a software platform for generic computing in a tablet device intended for internet consumption. But Nokia did not commit to it as their only platform for their future mobile devices and the project competed against other in-house platforms and later replaced it with the
Series 60 The S60 Platform (formerly Series 60 User Interface) was a platform (computing), software platform for Mobile app, smartphones that runs on top of the Symbian operating system. It was created by Nokia based on the 'Pearl' user interface from S ...
. Nokia used the term ''internet tablet'' to refer to a portable
information appliance An information appliance (IA) is an appliance that is designed to easily perform a specific electronic function such as Digital audio player, playing music, photography, or text editor, editing text. Typical examples are smartphones and person ...
that focused on Internet use and media consumption, in the range between a
personal digital assistant A personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a handheld PC, is a variety mobile device which functions as a personal information manager. PDAs have been mostly displaced by the widespread adoption of highly capable smartphones, in partic ...
(PDA) and an
Ultra-Mobile PC An ultra-mobile PC, or ultra-mobile personal computer (UMPC), is a miniature version of a Pen computing, pen computer, a class of laptop whose specifications were launched by Microsoft and Intel in spring 2006. Sony had already made a first att ...
(UMPC). They made two mobile phones, the N900 that runs Maemo, and N9 that run Meego. Before the release of iPad, Axiotron introduced an aftermarket, heavily modified Apple called Modbook, a
Mac OS X macOS (; previously OS X and originally Mac OS X) is a Unix operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac (computer), Mac computers. Within the market of ...
-based tablet computer. The Modbook uses Apple's Inkwell (Macintosh), Inkwell for handwriting and gesture recognition, and uses digitization hardware from Wacom (company), Wacom. To get Mac OS X to talk to the digitizer on the integrated tablet, the Modbook was supplied with a third-party driver. Following the launch of the Ultra-mobile PC, Intel began the Mobile Internet Device initiative, which took the same hardware and combined it with a tabletized Linux configuration. Intel codeveloped the lightweight Moblin (mobile Linux) operating system following the successful launch of the Atom CPU series on netbooks. In 2010, Nokia and Intel combined the Maemo and Moblin projects to form MeeGo, a Linux-based operating system supports netbooks and tablets. The first tablet using MeeGo was the Neofonie WeTab launched September 2010 in Germany. The WeTab used an extended version of the MeeGo operating system called WeTab OS. WeTab OS adds runtimes for Android and Adobe AIR and provides a proprietary user interface optimized for the WeTab device. On September 27, 2011, the Linux Foundation announced that MeeGo would be replaced in 2012 by Tizen.


Modern tablets

Android was the first of the 2000s-era dominating platforms for tablet computers to reach the market. In 2008, the first plans for Android-based tablets appeared. The first products were released in 2009. Among them was the Archos 5, a pocket-sized model with a 5-inch
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
, that was first released with a proprietary operating system and later (in 2009) released with Android 1.4. The Camangi WebStation was released in Q2 2009. The first LTE (telecommunication), LTE Android (operating system), Android tablet appeared late 2009 and was made by ICD for Verizon. This unit was called the Ultra, but a version called Vega was released around the same time. Ultra had a 7-inch display while Vega's was 15 inches. Many more products followed in 2010. Several manufacturers waited for Android Honeycomb, specifically adapted for use with tablets, which debuted in February 2011.
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wh ...
is often credited for defining a new class of consumer device with the iPad, which shaped the commercial market for tablets in the following years, and was the most successful tablet at the time of its release. iPads and competing devices were tested by the US military in 2011 and cleared for secure use in 2013. Its debut in 2010 pushed tablets into the mainstream. Samsung's Samsung Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab and others followed, continuing the trends towards the features listed above. In March 2012, ''PC Magazine'' reported that 31% of U.S. Internet users owned a tablet, used mainly for viewing published content such as video and news. The top-selling line of devices was Apple's iPad with 100 million sold between its release in April 2010 and mid-October 2012, but iPad #Market share, market share (number of units) dropped to 36% in 2013 with Android (operating system), Android tablets climbing to 62%. Android tablet sales volume was 121 million devices, plus 52 million, between 2012 and 2013 respectively. Individual brands of Android operating system devices or compatibles follow iPad with Amazon's Kindle Fire with 7 million, and Barnes & Noble's Nook tablet, Nook with 5 million. The BlackBerry PlayBook was announced in September 2010 that ran the BlackBerry Tablet OS. The BlackBerry PlayBook was officially released to US and Canadian consumers on April 19, 2011. Hewlett Packard announced that the HP TouchPad, TouchPad, running WebOS 3.0 on a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, would be released in June 2011. On August 18, 2011, HP announced the discontinuation of the TouchPad, due to sluggish sales. In 2013, the Mozilla Foundation announced a prototype tablet model with Foxconn which ran on Firefox OS. Firefox OS was discontinued in 2016. The Canonical Ltd, Canonical hinted that Ubuntu OS, Ubuntu would be available on tablets by 2014. In February 2016, there was a commercial release of the BQ Aquaris M10#Ubuntu Edition, BQ Aquaris Ubuntu tablet using the Ubuntu Touch operating system. Canonical terminated support for the project due to lack of market interest on April 5, 2017 and it was then adopted by the UBports as a community project. As of February 2014, 83% of mobile app developers were targeting tablets, but 93% of developers were targeting smartphones. By 2014, around 23% of B2B companies were said to have deployed tablets for sales-related activities, according to a survey report by Corporate Visions. The iPad held majority use in North America, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and most of the Americas. Android tablets were more popular in most of Asia (China and Russia an exception), Africa and Eastern Europe. In 2015 tablet sales did not increase. Apple remained the largest seller but its market share declined below 25%. Samsung vice president Gary Riding said early in 2016 that tablets were only doing well among those using them for work. Newer models were more expensive and designed for a keyboard and stylus, which reflected the changing uses. As of early 2016, Android reigned over the market with 65%. Apple took the number 2 spot with 26%, and Windows took a distant third with the remaining 9%. In 2018, out of 4.4 billion computing devices Android accounted for 2 billion, iOS for 1 billion, and the remainder were PCs, in various forms (desktop, notebook, or tablet), running various operating systems (Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, Linux, etc.). Since the early 2020's various companies such as Samsung are beginning to introduce Foldable smartphone, foldable technology into their tablets.


Types

Tablets can be loosely grouped into several categories by physical size, kind of operating system installed, input and output technology, and uses.


Slate

The size of a slate varies, but slates begin at 6 inches (approximately 15 cm). Some models in the larger than 10-inch (25 cm) category include the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 at 12.2 inches (31 cm), the Toshiba Excite at 13.3 inches (33 cm) and the Dell XPS 18 at 18.4 inches (47 cm). As of March 2013, the thinnest tablet on the market was the Sony Xperia Tablet Z at only 0.27 inches (6.9 mm) thick. On September 9, 2015, Apple released the iPad Pro with a screen size, larger than the regular iPad.


Mini tablet

Mini tablets are smaller and weigh less than slates, with typical screen sizes between . The first commercially successful mini tablets were introduced by Amazon.com (Amazon Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire), Barnes & Noble (Nook Tablet), and Samsung (Samsung Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab) in 2011; and by Google (Nexus 7 (2012 version), Nexus 7) in 2012. They operate identically to ordinary tablets but have lower specifications compared to them. On September 14, 2012, Amazon, Inc. released an upgraded version of the Kindle Fire, the Kindle Fire HD, with higher screen resolution and more features compared to its predecessor, yet remaining only 7 inches. In October 2012, Apple released the iPad Mini with a 7.9-inch screen size, about 2 inches smaller than the regular iPad, but less powerful than the then current iPad 3. On July 24, 2013, Google released an upgraded version of the Nexus 7 (2013 version), Nexus 7, with FHD display, dual cameras, stereo speakers, more color accuracy, performance improvement, built-in Qi (inductive power standard), wireless charging, and a variant with 4G LTE support for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. In September 2013, Amazon further updated the Fire tablet with the Kindle Fire HDX. In November 2013, Apple released the iPad Mini 2, which remained at 7.9 inches and nearly matched the hardware of the iPad Air.


Phablet

Smartphones and tablets are similar devices, differentiated by the former typically having smaller screens and most tablets lacking
cellular network A cellular network or mobile network is a communication network where the link to and from end nodes is wireless. The network is distributed over land areas called "cells", each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver (typically thre ...
capability. Since 2010, crossover touchscreen smartphones with screens larger than 5 inches have been released. That size is generally considered larger than a traditional smartphone, creating the hybrid category of the ''phablet'' by Forbes and other publications. "Phablet" is a portmanteau of "phone" and "tablet". At the time of the introduction of the first phablets, they had screens of 5.3 to 5.5 inches, but as of 2017 screen sizes up to 5.5 inches are considered typical. Examples of phablets from 2017 and onward are the Samsung Galaxy Note series (newer models of 5.7 inches), the LG V10/LG V20, V20 (5.7 inches), the Sony Xperia XA Ultra (6 inches), the Huawei Mate 9 (5.9 inches), and the Huawei Honor (MediaPad) X2 (7 inches).


2-in-1

Nowadays In spite of this
touchscreen gaming laptop
are becoming more popular among professional workers, such as graphic designers, who also require a lot of storage and a powerful processor. They can be used as a tablet and laptop both. A 2-in-1 PC is a hybrid or combination of a tablet and laptop computer that has features of both. Distinct from tablets, 2-in-1 PCs all have physical Keyboard (computing), keyboards, but they are either concealable by folding them back and under the touchscreen ("2-in-1 convertible") or detachable ("2-in-1 detachable"). 2-in-1s typically also can display a virtual keyboard on their touchscreens when their physical keyboards are concealed or detached. Some 2-in-1s have processors and
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems scheduler (computing), schedule tasks for ef ...

operating system
s like those of laptops, such as Windows 10, while having the flexibility of operation as a tablet. Further, 2-in-1s may have typical laptop I/O ports, such as USB 3 and DisplayPort, and may connect to traditional Personal computer, PC peripheral devices and external displays. Simple tablets are mainly used as media consumption devices, while 2-in-1s have capacity for both media consumption and content creation, and thus 2-in-1s are often called ''laptop'' or ''desktop replacement computers''. There are two species of 2-in-1s: * Convertibles have a Chassis#Electronics, chassis design by which their physical keyboard may be concealed by flipping/folding the keyboard behind the chassis. Examples include 2-in-1 PCs of the Lenovo Yoga series. * Detachables or Hybrids have physical keyboards that may be detached from their Chassis#Electronics, chassis, even while the 2-in-1 is operating. Examples include 2-in-1 PCs of the Asus Transformer Pad and Book series, the iPad Pro, and the Microsoft Surface Book and Microsoft Surface, Surface Pro.


Gaming tablet

Some tablets are modified by adding physical gamepad buttons such as D-pad and thumb sticks for better gaming experience combined with the
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
and all other features of a typical tablet computer. Most of these tablets are targeted to run native OS games and emulator games. Nvidia's Shield Tablet, with an display, and running Android (operating system), Android, is an example. It runs Android games purchased from Google Play store. PC games can also be streaming media, streamed to the tablet from computers with some higher end models of Nvidia-powered video cards. The Nintendo Switch hybrid console is also a gaming tablet that runs on Nintendo Switch system software, features detachable Joy-Con controllers with motion controls and three gaming modes: table-top mode using its kickstand, traditional docked/TV mode and handheld mode. While not entirely an actual tablet form factor due to their sizes, some other handheld console including the smaller version of Nintendo Switch the Nintendo Switch Lite and PlayStation Vita are treat as an gaming tablet or tablet replacement by community and reviewer/publisher due to their capabilities on browsing the internet and multimedia capabilities.


Booklet

Booklets are dual-touchscreen tablet computers with a Flip (form), clamshell design that can fold like a laptop. Examples include the Microsoft Courier, which was discontinued in 2010, the Sony Tablet P (considered a flop), and the Toshiba Libretto W100.


Customized business tablet

Customized business tablets are built specifically for a business customer's particular needs from a hardware and software perspective, and delivered in a business-to-business transaction. For example, in hardware, a transportation company may find that the consumer-grade GPS module in an Commercial off-the-shelf, off-the-shelf tablet provides insufficient accuracy, so a tablet can be customized and embedded with a professional-grade antenna to provide a better GPS signal. Such tablets may also be Rugged computer, ruggedized for field use. For a software example, the same transportation company might remove certain software functions in the Android system, such as the internet browser, to reduce costs from needless cellular network data consumption of an employee, and add custom package management software. Other applications may call for a resistive touchscreen and other special hardware and software. A table ordering tablet is a touchscreen tablet computer designed for use in Types of restaurant#Casual dining, casual restaurants. Such devices allow users to order food and drinks, play games and pay their bill. Since 2013, Chain store, restaurant chains including Chili's, Olive Garden and Red Robin have adopted them. As of 2014, the two most popular brands were Ziosk and Presto Tablet, Presto. The devices have been criticized by servers who claim that some restaurants determine their hours based on customer feedback in areas unrelated to service.


E-Reader

Any device that can display text on a screen may act as an E-reader. While traditionally E-readers are designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-books and periodicals, modern E-readers that use a mobile operating system such as Android have incorporated modern functionally including internet browsing and multimedia capabilities; for example Huawei MatePad Paper is a tablet that uses e-ink instead of typical LCD or LED panel, hence focusing on the reading digital content while maintaining the internet and multimedia capabilities. Some E-reader such as PocketBook InkPad Color and ONYX BOOX NOVA 3 Color even came with colored e-ink panel and speaker which allowed for higher degree of multimedia consumption and video playback. Amazon Kindle, Kindle line from Amazon mostly retain on the E-reading capabilities, however the recent update to their Kindle firmware had allowed the Kindle reader line to browse the internet and audio playback that can be substitute to traditional tablet due to more readable e-ink panel and battery life, while still allowing user to access to wider multimedia capabilities compared to the older model.


Hardware


System architecture

Two major architectures dominate the tablet market, ARM Ltd.'s ARM architecture and Intel's and AMD's x86. Intel's x86, including x86-64 has powered the "IBM compatible" PC since 1981 and Apple's Macintosh computers since 2006. The CPUs have been incorporated into tablet PCs over the years and generally offer greater performance along with the ability to run full versions of Microsoft
Windows Windows is a group of several Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. For example, W ...

Windows
, along with Windows desktop and enterprise applications. Non-Windows based x86 tablets include the JooJoo. Intel announced plans to enter the tablet market with its Intel Atom, Atom in 2010. In October 2013, Intel's foundry operation announced plans to build FPGA-based quad cores for ARM and x86 processors. ARM has been the CPU architecture of choice for manufacturers of smartphones (95% ARM), PDAs, digital cameras (80% ARM), set-top boxes, DSL routers, smart televisions (70% ARM), storage devices and tablet computers (95% ARM). This dominance began with the release of the mobile-focused and comparatively power-efficient 32-bit ARM610 processor originally designed for the
Apple Newton The Newton is a series of personal digital assistants (PDAs) developed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Computer, Inc. An early device in the PDA category (the Newton originated the term), it was the first to feature handwriting recognition. Ap ...

Apple Newton
in 1993 and ARM3-using Acorn A4 laptop in 1992. The chip was adopted by Psion, Palm and Nokia for PDAs and later smartphones, camera phones, cameras, etc. ARM's licensing model supported this success by allowing device manufacturers to license, alter and fabricate custom SoC derivatives tailored to their own products. This has helped manufacturers extend battery life and shrink component count along with the size of devices. The multiple licensees ensured that multiple fabricators could supply near-identical products, while encouraging price competition. This forced unit prices down to a fraction of their x86 equivalents. The architecture has historically had limited support from Microsoft, with only
Windows CE Windows Embedded Compact, formerly Windows Embedded CE, Windows Powered and Windows CE, is an operating system subfamily developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows Embedded family of products. Unlike Windows Embedded Standard, which is base ...
available, but with the 2012 release of Windows 8, Microsoft announced added support for the architecture, shipping their own ARM-based tablet computer, branded the Microsoft Surface, as well as an x86-64 Intel Core i5 variant branded as Microsoft Surface Pro. Intel tablet chip sales were 1 million units in 2012, and 12 million units in 2013. Intel chairman Andy Bryant has stated that its 2014 goal is to quadruple its tablet chip sales to 40 million units by the end of that year, as an investment for 2015.


Display

A key component among tablet computers is touch input on a
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
display. This allows the user to navigate easily and type with a
virtual keyboard A virtual keyboard is a software component that allows the input of characters without the need for physical keys. The interaction with the virtual keyboard happens mostly via a touchscreen interface, but can also take place in a different form ...
on the screen or press other icons on the screen to open apps or files. The first tablet to do this was the GRiDPad by GRiD Systems Corporation; the tablet featured both a stylus, a pen-like tool to aid with precision in a touchscreen device as well as an on-screen keyboard.Jeff Hawkins: The system must respond to on-screen touches rather than clicks of a keyboard or mouse. This operation makes precise use of our eye–hand coordination. Touchscreens usually come in one of two forms: * Resistive touchscreens are passive and respond to pressure on the screen. They allow a high level of Accuracy and precision, precision, useful in emulating a pointer (computing WIMP), pointer (as is common in tablet computers) but may require calibration. Because of the high resolution, a stylus or fingernail is often used. Stylus-oriented systems are less suited to multi-touch. * capacitive sensing, Capacitive touchscreens tend to be less accurate, but more responsive than resistive devices. Because they require a conductive material, such as a fingertip, for input, they are not common among stylus-oriented devices but are prominent on consumer devices. Most finger-driven capacitive screens do not currently support pressure input (except for the iPhone 6S and later models), but some tablets use a pressure-sensitive stylus or active pen. * Some tablets can recognize individual palms, while some professional-grade tablets use pressure-sensitive films, such as those on graphics tablets. Some capacitive touch-screens can detect the size of the touched area and the pressure used.Buxton, Bill
Multitouch Overview
Since mid-2010s, most tablets use capacitive sensing, capacitive
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
s with multi-touch, unlike earlier resistive touchscreen devices which users needed styluses to perform inputs. There are also electronic paper tablets such as Sony Digital Paper DPTS1 and reMarkable that use E ink for its display technology.


Handwriting recognition

Many tablets support a stylus and support
handwriting recognition Handwriting recognition (HWR), also known as handwritten text recognition (HTR), is the ability of a computer to receive and interpret intelligible handwriting, handwritten input from sources such as paper documents, photographs, touch-screens a ...
. Wacom (company), Wacom and N-trig digital pens provide approximately 2500 DPI resolution for handwriting, exceeding the resolution of capacitive touch screens by more than a factor of 10. These pens also support pressure sensitivity, allowing for "variable-width stroke-based" characters, such as Chinese/Japanese/Korean writing, due to their built-in capability of "pressure sensing". Pressure is also used in digital art applications such as Autodesk Sketchbook. Apps exist on both iOS and Android platforms for handwriting recognition and in 2015 Google introduced its own handwriting input with support for 82 languages.


Other features

After 2007, with access to capacitive screens and the success of the iPhone, other features became common, such as multi-touch features (in which the user can touch the screen in multiple places to trigger actions and other natural user interface features, as well as flash memory solid state storage and "instant on" Warm boot, warm-booting; external
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an technical standard, industry standard that establishes specifications for cables, connectors and communication protocol, protocols for connection, communication and power supply (Interface (computing), interfa ...

USB
and
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology standard that is used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances and building personal area networks (PANs). In the most widely used mode, transmission power is limit ...

Bluetooth
Computer keyboard, keyboards defined tablets. Most tablets released since mid-2010 use a version of an ARM processor for longer battery life. The ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore, ARM Cortex family is powerful enough for tasks such as Mobile browser, internet browsing, light creative and production work and mobile games.The Coming War: ARM versus x86
Mirror for: ''The Bright Side of News'' April 8, 2010
Other features are: High-definition, Glossy display, anti-glare display, touchscreen, lower weight and longer Battery (electricity)#battery lifetime, battery life than a comparably-sized laptop, wireless local area and internet connectivity (usually with Wi-Fi standard and optional mobile broadband),
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology standard that is used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances and building personal area networks (PANs). In the most widely used mode, transmission power is limit ...

Bluetooth
for connecting peripherals and communicating with local devices, ports for wired connections and charging, for example USB ports, Early devices had IR support and could work as a TV remote controller, docking station, keyboard and added connectivity, on-board flash memory, ports for removable storage, various cloud storage services for backup and file synchronization, syncing data across devices, local storage on a local area network (LAN). * Speech recognition Google introduced voice input in Android 2.1 in 2009 and Google Voice Search, voice actions in 2.2 in 2010, with up to five languages (now around 40). Siri was introduced as a system-wide personal assistant on the iPhone 4S in 2011 and now supports nearly 20 languages. In both cases, the voice input is sent to central servers to perform general speech recognition and thus requires a network connection for more than simple commands. * Near field communication with other compatible devices including ISO/IEC 14443 RFID tags.


Software


Current tablet operating systems

Tablets, like conventional PCs, use several different
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems scheduler (computing), schedule tasks for ef ...

operating system
s, though multi boot, dual-booting is rare. Tablet operating systems come in two classes: * Desktop computer operating systems * Mobile operating systems Desktop OS-based tablets are currently thicker and heavier. They require more storage and CPU power dissipation, more cooling and give less battery life. They can run processor-intensive graphical applications in addition to mobile apps, and have more Computer port (hardware), ports. Mobile-based tablets are the reverse, and run only mobile apps. They can use battery life conservatively because the processor is significantly smaller. This allows the battery to last much longer than the common laptop. In Q1 2018, Android tablets had 62% of the market, Apple's iOS had 23.4% of the market and Windows 10 had 14.6% of the market. In late 2021, iOS has 55% use worldwide (varies by continent, e.g. below 50% in South America and Africa) and Android 45% use. Still, Android tablets have more use than iOS in virtually all countries, except for e.g. the US and China.


Android

Android is a
Linux Linux ( or ) is a family of free and open-source software, open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an kernel (operating system), operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Linu ...

Linux
-based mobile operating system, operating system that Google offers as Open-source software, open source under the Apache license. It is designed primarily for mobile devices such as
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...

smartphone
s and tablet computers. Android supports low-cost ARM systems and others. The first tablets running Android were released in 2009. Vendors such as Motorola and Lenovo delayed deployment of their tablets until after 2011, when Android was reworked to include more tablet features. Android Honeycomb, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), released in 2011 and later versions support larger screen sizes, mainly tablets, and have access to the Google Play service. Android includes operating system, middleware and key applications. Other vendors sell customized Android tablets, such as Kindle Fire and Nook, which are used to consume mobile content and provide their own app store, rather than using the larger Google Play system, thereby fragmenting the Android market. In 2022 Google began to re-emphasize in-house Android tablet development — at this point, a multi-year commitment.


=Android Go

= A few tablet computers are shipped with Android Go.


=Fire OS

= As mentioned above, Fire OS, Amazon Fire OS is an Android-based mobile operating system produced by Amazon for its Fire range of tablets. It is forked from Android. Fire OS primarily centers on content consumption, with a customized user interface and heavy ties to content available from Amazon's own storefronts and services.


ChromeOS

Several devices that run ChromeOS came on the market in 2017–2019, as tablets, or as 2-in-1 PC, 2-in-1s with
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
and 360-degree hinge.


HarmonyOS

HarmonyOS (HMOS) () is a distributed operating system developed by Huawei to collaborate and interconnect with multiple smart devices on the Internet of Things ecosystem. In its current Multikernel, multi-kernel design, the operating system selects suitable kernels from the abstraction layer for devices with diverse resources. For Internet of things, IoT devices, the system is known to be based on LiteOS kernel; while for smartphones and tablets, it is based on a Linux kernel layer with Android (Operating System), AOSP libraries to support Android application package, APK apps using Android Runtime, ART through the Ark Compiler, in addition to native HarmonyOS apps.


iPadOS

The iPad runs on iPadOS. Prior to the introduction of iPadOS in 2019, the iPad ran iOS, which was created for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The first iPad was released in 2010. Although built on the same underlying Unix implementation as macOS, its user interface is radically different. iPadOS is designed for touch input from the user's fingers and has none of the features that required a stylus on earlier tablets. Apple introduced multi-touch gestures, such as moving two fingers apart or together to zoom in or out, also termed ''pinch to zoom''. iPadOS and iOS are built for the ARM architecture.


Kindle firmware

Kindle firmware is mobile operating system specifically design for Amazon Amazon Kindle e-readers, it is based on custom Linux kernel however it is entirely closed-source and proprietary, and only runs on Amazon Kindle line up manufactured under Amazon brand.


Nintendo Switch system software

The Nintendo Switch system software (also known by its codename Horizon) is an updatable firmware and operating system used by the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch hybrid video game console/tablet and Nintendo Switch Lite, Nintendo Switch Lite handheld game console. It is based on a proprietary microkernel. The UI includes a HOME screen, consisting of the top bar, the screenshot viewer ("Album"), and shortcuts to the Nintendo eShop, News, and Settings.


PlayStation Vita system software

The PlayStation Vita system software is the official firmware and operating system for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV video game consoles. It uses the LiveArea as its graphical shell. The PlayStation Vita system software has one optional add-on component, the PlayStation Mobile Runtime Package. The system is built on a Unix-base which is derived from FreeBSD and NetBSD. Due to it capabilities on browsing the internet and multimedia capabilities, it is treat as an gaming tablet or tablet replacement by community and reviewer/publisher.


Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch is an open-source (GNU General Public License, GPL) mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system originally developed in 2013 by Canonical Ltd. and continued by the non-profit UBports Foundation in 2017. Ubuntu Touch can run on a pure GNU/Linux base on phones with the required drivers, such as the Librem 5 and the PinePhone. To enable hardware that was originally shipped with Android, Ubuntu Touch makes use of the Android Linux kernel, using Android drivers and services via an LXC container, but does not use any of the Java-like code of Android. As of February 2022, Ubuntu Touch is available on 78 phones and tablets. The UBports Installer serves as an easy-to-use tool to allow inexperienced users to install the operating system on third-party devices without damaging their hardware.


Windows

Following
Windows for Pen Computing Windows for Pen Computing is a software suite for Windows 3.1x, that Microsoft designed to incorporate pen computing capabilities into the Windows Operating environment#Computing, operating environment. Windows for Pen Computing was the second maj ...
for Windows 3.1 in 1991, Microsoft supported tablets running Windows XP under the Microsoft Tablet PC name. Microsoft Tablet PCs were pen-based, fully functional x86 Personal computer, PCs with handwriting and voice recognition functionality. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition provided pen support. Tablet support was added to both Home and Business versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. Tablets running Windows could use the touchscreen for mouse input, hand writing recognition and gesture support. Following Tablet PC, Microsoft announced the Ultra-mobile PC initiative in 2006 which brought Windows tablets to a smaller, touch-centric form factor. In 2008, Microsoft showed a prototype of a two-screen tablet called Microsoft Courier, but cancelled the project. In 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8, which features significant changes to various aspects of the operating system's user interface and platform which are designed for touch-based devices such as tablets. The operating system also introduced an Microsoft Store, application store and a new style of application optimized primarily for use on tablets. Microsoft also introduced Windows RT, an edition of Windows 8 for use on ARM-based devices. The launch of Windows 8 and RT was accompanied by the release of devices with the two operating systems by various manufacturers (including Microsoft themselves, with the release of Microsoft Surface, Surface), such as slate tablets, hybrids, and convertibles. Released in July 2015, Windows 10 introduces what Microsoft described as "universal apps"; expanding on Metro-style apps, these apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code‍ – ‌including Personal computer, PCs, tablets,
smartphone A smartphone is a Mobile device, portable computer device that combines Mobile phone, mobile telephone and Mobile computing, computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities ...

smartphone
s, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub and Windows Holographic. The Windows user interface was revised to handle transitions between a mouse-oriented interface and a
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...

touchscreen
-optimized interface based on available input devices‍ – ‌particularly on 2-in-1 PCs; both interfaces include an updated Start menu. Windows 10 replaced all earlier editions of Windows.


Hybrid OS operation

Several hardware companies have built hybrid devices with the possibility to work with both Android and Windows Phone operating systems (or in rare cases Windows 8.1, as with the, by now cancelled, Asus Transformer Book Duet), while Ars Technica stated: "dual-OS devices are always terrible products. Windows and Android almost never cross-communicate, so any dual-OS device means dealing with separate apps, data, and storage pools and completely different UI paradigms. So from a consumer perspective, Microsoft and Google are really just saving OEMs from producing tons of clunky devices that no one will want."


Discontinued tablet operating systems


BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10 (based on the QNX OS) is from BlackBerry Limited, BlackBerry. As a smartphone OS, it is closed-source and proprietary, and only runs on phones and tablets manufactured by BlackBerry. One of the dominant platforms in the world in the late 2000s, its global market share was reduced significantly by the mid-2010s. In late 2016, BlackBerry announced that it will continue to support the OS, with a promise to release 10.3.3. Therefore, BlackBerry 10 would not receive any major updates as BlackBerry and its partners would focus more on their Android base development.


BlackBerry Tablet OS

BlackBerry Tablet OS is an operating system from BlackBerry Ltd based on the QNX Neutrino real-time operating system designed to run Adobe AIR and BlackBerry WebWorks applications, currently available for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer. The BlackBerry Tablet OS is the first tablet running an operating system from QNX (now a subsidiary of RIM). BlackBerry Tablet OS supports standard BlackBerry Java (programming language), Java applications. Support for Android (operating system), Android apps has also been announced, through sandbox "app players" which can be ported by developers or installed through sideloading by users. A BlackBerry Tablet OS Native Development Kit, to develop native applications with the GNU toolchain is currently in closed beta testing. The first device to run BlackBerry Tablet OS was the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.


Application store

mobile app, Apps that do not come pre-installed with the system are supplied through List of mobile app distribution platforms, online distribution. These sources, termed ''app stores'', provide centralized catalogs of software and allow "one click" on-device software purchasing, installation and updates. Mobile device suppliers may adopt a walled garden (technology), "walled garden" approach, wherein the supplier controls what software applications ("apps") are available. Software development kits are restricted to approved software developers. This can be used to reduce the impact of malware, provide software with an approved content rating, control application quality and exclude competing vendors.
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wh ...
, Google, Amazon (company), Amazon, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble all adopted the strategy. B&N originally allowed arbitrary apps to be installed, but, in December 2011, excluded third parties. Apple and IBM have agreed to cooperate in cross-selling IBM-developed applications for iPads and iPhones in enterprise-level accounts. Proponents of open source software say that the iPad (or such "walled garden" app store approach) violates the spirit of personal control that traditional personal computers have always provided.


Sales

Around 2010, tablet use by businesses jumped, as business began to use them for conferences, events, and trade shows. In 2012, Intel reported that their tablet program improved productivity for about 19,000 of their employees by an average of 57 minutes a day. In October 2012, display screen shipments for tablets began surpassing shipments for laptop display screens. Tablets are increasingly used in the construction industry to look at
blueprint A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing or engineering drawing using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets. Introduced by Sir John Herschel in 1842, the process allowed rapid and accurate production of an unlimited number ...

blueprint
s, field documentation and other relevant information on the device instead of carrying around large amounts of paper. As of the start of 2014, 44% of US online consumers own tablets, a significant jump from 5% in 2011. Tablet use has also become increasingly common among children. A 2014 survey found that mobiles were the most frequently used object for play among American children under the age of 12. Mobiles were used more often in play than video game consoles, board games, puzzles, play vehicles, blocks and dolls/action figures. Despite this, the majority of parents said that a mobile was "never" or only "sometimes" a toy. As of 2014, nearly two-thirds of American 2- to 10-year-olds have access to a tablet or e-reader. The large use of tablets by adults is as a personal internet-connected TV. A 2015 study found that a third of children under five have their own tablet device. By 2017, tablet sales worldwide had surpassed sales of desktop computers, and worldwide PC sales were flat for the first quarter of 2018. In 2020 the tablet market saw a large surge in sales with 164 million tablet units being shipped worldwide due to a large demand for Remote work, work from home and Virtual school, online learning. 2010 to 2014 figures are estimated by Gartner. 2014 to 2018 figures are estimated by International Data Corporation, IDC.


By manufacturer

Note: Others consists of small vendors with mostly less market share. 2017 and 2018 Data now breaks out Amazon, Huawei, and Lenovo: added into Others for consistency


By operating system

According to a survey conducted by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) now called Digital Content Next (DCN) in March 2012, it found that 72% of tablet owners had an iPad, while 32% had an Android (operating system), Android tablet. By 2012, Android tablet adoption had increased. 52% of tablet owners owned an iPad, while 51% owned an Android-powered tablet (percentages do not add up to 100% because some tablet owners own more than one type). By end of 2013, Android's market share rose to 61.9%, followed by iOS at 36%. By late 2014, Android's market share rose to 72%, followed by iOS at 22.3% and Windows at 5.7%. As of early 2016, Android has 65% marketshare, Apple has 26% and Windows has 9% marketshare. In Q1 2018, Android tablets had 62% of the market, Apple's iOS had 23.4% of the market and Windows 10 had 14.6% of the market.


Use


Sleep

The blue wavelength of light from back-lit tablets may impact one's ability to fall asleep when reading at night, through the suppression of melatonin. Experts at Harvard Medical School suggest limiting tablets for reading use in the evening. Those who have a delayed body clock, such as teenagers, which makes them prone to stay up late in the evening and sleep later in the morning, may be at particular risk for increases in sleep deficiencies. A PC app such as F.lux and Android apps such as CF.lumen and Twilight attempt to decrease the impact on sleep by filtering blue wavelengths from the display. iOS 9.3 includes Night Shift (software), Night Shift that shifts the colors of the device's display to be warmer during the later hours.


By plane

Because of, among other things, electromagnetic waves emitted by this type of device, the use of any type of electronic device during the take-off and landing phases was totally prohibited on board commercial flights. On November 13, 2013, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that the use of mobile terminals could be authorized on the flights of European airlines during these phases from 2014 onwards, on the condition that the cellular functions are deactivated ("airplane" mode activated). In September 2014, EASA issued guidance that allows EU airlines to permit use of tablets, e-readers, smartphones, and other portable electronic devices to stay on without the need to be in airplane mode during all parts of EU flights, however each airline has to decide to allow this behavior. In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration allowed use of portable electronic devices during all parts of flights while in airplane mode in late 2013.


Tourism

Some French historical monuments are equipped with digital tactile tablets called "HistoPad". It is an application integrated with an iPad Mini offering an interaction in augmented and virtual reality with several pieces of the visit, the visitor being able to take control of their visit in an interactive and personalized way.


Professional use for specific sectors

Some professionals – for example, in the construction industry, insurance experts, lifeguards or surveyors – use so-called rugged shelf models in the field that can withstand extreme hot or cold shocks or climatic environments. Some units are hardened against drops and screen breakage. Satellite-connectivity-equipped tablets such as the Thorium X, for example, can be used in areas where there is no other connectivity. This is a valuable feature in the aeronautical and military realms. For example, United States Army helicopter pilots are moving to tablets as electronic flight bags, which confer the advantages of rapid, convenient synchronization of large groups of users, and the seamless updating of information. US Army chaplains who are deployed in the field with the troops cite the accessibility of Army regulations, field manuals, and other critical information to help with their services; however power generation, speakers, and a tablet rucksack are also necessary for the chaplains.


See also

* Comparison of tablet computers * History of tablet computers * Lists of mobile computers * Mobile device


References


External links

* {{Authority control American inventions Classes of computers Tablet computers,