Google Chrome Gets Major Upgrade on Android Tablets

Google has announced a big change coming to its Chrome web browser when used on Android tablets. Starting now, Chrome will automatically switch to desktop mode on high-end Android tablets.

mobile vs desktop version. Source: Chrome
mobile vs desktop version. Source: Chrome

This overhaul aims to improve the browsing experience on tablets like the Google Pixel Tablet. It should make web pages display properly on larger tablet screens instead of using stretched-out phone layouts.

The upgrade kicks in on Android tablets with at least 10-inch screens and 8GB of RAM (Find all in Tablet Comparison Page). Chrome labels these as “premium tablets.”

When users visit websites on qualifying tablets, Chrome will now send a desktop user agent string instead of a mobile one.

Many sites detect user agent strings to determine whether to show phone or desktop pages. Sending a desktop user string prompts sites to display desktop layouts suited to large screens. It also removes the default 980-pixel mobile viewport limit.

Google hopes the change will stop tablet users from seeing sites meant for phones. The company admits mobile sites often fail to take full advantage of tablets’ screen real estate and processing power. The desktop experience should improve this.

Request desktop view. Source: Chrome
Request desktop view. Source: Chrome

Developers still have control over what versions of sites get shown. Users can still toggle manual desktop/mobile mode switching as before too. But desktop mode will become the out-of-the-box default on high-end tablets going forward.

The upgrade brings Chrome on Android tablets closer in line with Safari’s behavior on iPads since 2019. It aims to provide a better experience across the growing top-tier tablet market.

Developers should check their sites work properly in desktop mode on touch devices. Reliance on user agent strings to detect Android devices may also need reworking. But overall, the change should give Android tablet users a better web experience.

Test sites to ensure full desktop site compatibility on tablets before rollout. I will give you a guide below. Desktop mode improves the experience on premium tablets but may cause issues on less powerful ones.

Switch to Desktop Mode by Default on Android Tablets

Changing Default Settings:

  1. Open Chrome on your Android device.
  2. Tap the three-dot icon on the right and select “Settings
  3. Scroll down to “Advanced” and tap on “Site settings
  4. Enable “Desktop site

Customizing Settings for Specific Sites

  1. Open Chrome Settings.
  2. Scroll down to “Advanced” and select “Site settings
  3. Tap on “Desktop site
  4. Click “+ ADD SITE EXCEPTION
  5. Enter the site's URL.

The original source: https://developer.chrome.com/blog/desktop-mode

10-Inch Android Tablets and Larger (10.1 – 14.6 Inches)

TabletTablet PricesCheck PriceSizeResolutionOSWeight (gram)ProcessorCameras (Selfie+Main)Battery Life (Hours)
Teclast P30T< $200 Check Price 10.11280×800Android 144401.8 GHz Allwinner A5235MP + 8MP6
Lenovo Tab M10 5G< $500 Check Price 10.612000x1200Android 134902.20 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 6958MP + 13MP12
Alldocube iPlay 60< $400 Check Price 10.952000x1200Android 135201.6GHz, 1.6GHz Unisoc T6065MP + 16MP10
UMIDIGI A15 Tab< $1000 Check Price 112000x1200Android 134912 GHz Unisoc T61613MP + 8MP8
Huawei MatePad Pro< $1000 Check Price 13.22880×1920HarmonyOS 45803.13 GHz HiSilicon Kirin 9000s16MP + 13MP11
Honor Tablet Pad 9< $250 Check Price 12.12560x1600Android 135552.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 18MP + 13MP10
Oscal Pad 18< $350 Check Price 111920x1200Android 134901.80 GHz UNISOC Tiger T61613MP + 13MP10
Huawei MatePad Pro 2024< $800 Check Price 112560x1600HarmonyOS 44491.53GHz, 2.49GHz Kirin 9000S16MP + 13MP11.5
Lenovo Xiaoxin Pad 2024< $300 Check Price 111920x1200Android 134652.8GHz, 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 6858MP + 8MP10
Galaxy Tab A9+< $300 Check Price 111920x1200Android 135102.2GHz, 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon SM63755MP + 8MP10
Oppo Pad Air 2< $300 Check Price 11.352408x1720Android 13538Mediatek Helio G99 (6nm)8MP + 8MP17
Acer Iconia Tab P10< $200 Check Price 10.42000×1200Android 124402.0 GHz MTK MT81835MP + 8MP8
Google Pixel Tablet< $500 Check Price 10.952560×1600Android 134932.85 GHz Tensor G28MP + 8MP12
Lenovo Tab Extreme< $1000 Check Price 14.53000×1876Android 137403.05GHz GHz MT900013MP + 13MP+5MP12
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen)< $200 Check Price 10.62000×1200Android 134652.0GHz GHz MTK G808MP + 8MP12
Lenovo Tab P11 (2nd gen)< $400 Check Price 11.52000×1200Android 12L5202.2GHz GHz MTK G998MP + 13MP10
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (2nd Gen)< $300 Check Price 11.22560×1536Android 124802.6 GHz MTK MT87978MP + 13MP14
Lenovo Tab P11 Plus< $250 Check Price 112000×1200Android 124902.05 GHz MediaTek G90T8MP + 13MP12
Lenovo Tab P12< $450 Check Price 12.72944×1849Android 136152.6 GHz MTK MT705013M+ 8MP8.79
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro< $750 Check Price 12.62560×1600Android 125653.19 GHz Snapdragon 8708MP + 13MP+5MP14.5
Lenovo Yoga Tab 11< $300 Check Price 112000×1200Android 126552.05 GHz MT81858MP + 8MP15
Lenovo Yoga Tab 13< $600 Check Price 132160×1350Android 128303.2 GHz Snapdragon 8708MP12
Nokia T20< $200 Check Price 10.42000×1200Android 134261.82 GHz Unisoc T6105MP + 8MP10
Nokia T21< $300 Check Price 10.362000×1200Android 124651.8 GHz Unisoc T6125MP + 8MP12
OnePlus Pad< $500 Check Price 11.612800×2000Android 135523.05 GHz MTK90005MP + 8MP14.5
Redmi Pad< $250 Check Price 10.612000×1200Android 134452.20 GHz MTK G995MP + 8MP21
Redmi Pad SE< $250 Check Price 111920×1200Android 134782.4 GHz Snapdragon 6805MP + 8MP14
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8< $200 Check Price 10.51920×1200Android 135082.0 GHz Unisoc T6185MP + 8MP10
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 Edition< $400 Check Price 10.42000×1200Android 134652.3GHz GHz Snapdragon 720G5MP + 8MP13
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE< $600 Check Price 12.42560×1600Android 136082.20 GHz Snapdragon 750G5MP + 8MP13
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9< $800 Check Price 112560×1600Android 134983.36 GHz Snapdragon 8 G212MP + 13MP15
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+< $1000 Check Price 12.42800×1752Android 135813.36 GHz Snapdragon 8 G212MP + 13MP+8MP15
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra< $1300 Check Price 14.62960×1848Android 137323.36 GHz Snapdragon 8 G212MP+12MP + 13MP+8MP12
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE< $500 Check Price 10.92304×1440Android 135232.4 GHz Exynos 138012MP + 8MP18
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE+< $600 Check Price 12.42560×1600Android 136272.4 GHz Exynos 138012MP + 8MP+8MP20
Teclast T60< $250 Check Price 122000×1200Android 135582.0 GHz Unisoc T6165MP + 13MP9
Vivo Pad 2< $350 Check Price 12.12800×1968Android 135853.05 GHz MTK90008MP + 13MP+2MP10
Xiaomi Pad 6< $450 Check Price 112880×1800Android 134903.2 GHz Snapdragon 8708MP + 13MP11
Xiaomi Pad 6 Pro< $600 Check Price 112880×1800Android 134903.2 GHz Snapdragon 8+20MP + 50MP18
ZTE Nubia Pad 3D< $1200 Check Price 12.42560×1600Android 12L5932.84 GHz Snapdragon 8888MP + 16MP10

– Tow Bowen