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Android Handhelds Portables

Android 3.0 Is Trickling In, But Are the Apps? 231

Posted by timothy
from the but-honeycomb's-big dept.
jhernik writes "As tablets based on the new Honeycomb version of Android appear, critics have questioned Google's moves to enforce a standard Android platform, and said there may be as few as 20 'real' apps for the devices. Motorola's Xoom tablet is due to appear in the UK next week, along with the Eee Transformer, but their ability to compete with the recently-launched Apple iPad 2 may be hurt by the shortage of tablet-optimised Android apps. Meanwhile, reports that Google wants to standardise Android hardware are causing alarm."
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Android 3.0 Is Trickling In, But Are the Apps?

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  • Re:What's different (Score:5, Informative)

    by syntap (242090) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:52PM (#35680834)

    You obviously don't own a Xoom. Many apps are just tiny rectangles taking the top-half of the screen or so. Some apps scale, most I have tried are not scaling.

  • Re:What's different (Score:5, Informative)

    by DdJ (10790) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:56PM (#35680878) Homepage Journal

    Have never understood all these "lack of tablet-optimized apps" BS... it all seems like FUD to me

    Want to see the reality of the issue?

    Go get a Nook Color and either jailbreak it or make a Honeycomb SD card to boot off or something. Make it so you can install non-tablet Android apps on it.

    Now get the official "Google Reader" app for Android and run it.

    On a phone-sized device, it's completely fine, because you can hold the device with one hand, and all the controls are within reach of the thumb of that hand. On the tablet-sized device, the UI goes from "nice enough that it gets out of your way and can be ignored" to "pretty darned annoying".

    It's not just a matter of resolution or scaling -- UI design for something phone-sized is not the same as UI design for something bigger than phone-sized.

    (Under iOS, what you're supposed to do is query the system about which UI paradigm is in effect, or specify for which UI paradigm your software is designed -- that's the "UIDeviceFamily" stuff. That way you don't have to make the decision based on checking pixel counts, leaving the door open for both phone-sized and tablet-sized devices with different pixel counts.)

  • Re:What's different (Score:4, Informative)

    by bemymonkey (1244086) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:59PM (#35680920)

    Yes, the apps aren't as pretty or functional as they could be if they were fully optimized for the form factor.

    However, saying that only 20 apps are available for the $500-1000 device someone is about to buy is just plain untrue... You can already use what you've got, and it'll get prettier and more functional over time.

  • Re:Breaking news! (Score:4, Informative)

    by PNutts (199112) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @03:37PM (#35681560)

    You'll need to nack and see how many iPad-specific apps were ready when the iPad 1 launched, a fair few, I seem to recall, including Apple's iWork stuff.

    Over 2000 the day before launch and over 3100 the day after launch.

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @05:02PM (#35682672)

    Anyone can run Android; not everyone can sell it with Android branding. The branding is what Google controls, not the code.

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