Google Pixel Tablet stylus and keyboard could be on the way — here’s what we know

Google Pixel Tablet
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel Tablet is a great device, but it’s got a few issues buyers should be aware of. As we noted in our Google Pixel Tablet review, one of the biggest drawbacks is the fact there aren’t many productivity accessories available. Thankfully, a new leak offers some hope in that department.

We’ve heard various tidbits about the possibility of the Pixel Tablet getting a keyboard and stylus over the past few months, but nothing was ever really concrete. Until now, at least, thanks to developer Pratyush discovering a few crucial lines of code in the newly-released Pixel Tablet factory images (via Android Authority).

Specifically, a URL to the latest version of the Pixel Retail Demo app was found in the “PixelSetupWizardOverlay” APK. Once there Pratyush discovered strings directly referring to “Keyboard for Pixel Tablet” and “Pen for Pixel Tablet”.

The app doesn’t feature any images of the accessories, or even any actual details regarding pricing or hardware. But this is still an actual Google app referencing the existence of both products — suggesting something is happening behind the scenes.

We heard something similar late last month from leaker Kamila Wojciechowska — though she referred to a “Stylus for Pixel Tablet” rather than a Pen. Unfortunately, she didn’t go into any detail about the devices, and we were left wondering how likely it was they’d arrive in the near future.

Now that we have seen details from an official Google source, even if it is little more than a couple of lines of code, we’re a little more optimistic about the Pixel Tablet’s future prospects.

The Pixel Tablet works well as a smart home companion, especially thanks to the speaker dock that lets it switch back and forth between being a tablet and a new kind of Nest Home Hub. But as we noted in our review, it’s not the strongest contender in the performance department — which is going to impact its usefulness as a productivity device.

Offering a keyboard and stylus isn’t likely to change those shortcomings, but that doesn’t mean the Pixel Tablet couldn’t benefit from them. Especially if Google wants its newly-launched tablet range to make it as one of the best Android tablets, and compete with the likes of Apple’s many iPads and the Samsung Galaxy Tab lineup.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Google has in store for us, and whether we’ll be seeing the Pixel Tablet’s keyboard and stylus in the near future. Considering how long we had to wait for the first generation Pixel Tablet, I certainly hope we don’t have to wait until the launch of the Pixel Tablet 2.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.