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Android Handhelds Portables

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

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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  • Breaking news! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zill ( 1690130 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:26PM (#35680380)

    While Apple’s iPad 2 has 65,000 applications, excluding those designed for the iPhone. Honeycomb has far fewer, and commentators have been competing to offer lower numbers.

    This just in: New tablet has no apps. New cars have no mileage. New bank accounts have a $0 balance. Film at 11.

  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:27PM (#35680400) Homepage

    The Android platform automatically scales apps like that already. It has to because Android supports lots of resolutions (unlike iOS).

    Have never understood all these "lack of tablet-optimized apps" BS... it all seems like FUD to me. Most iOS apps I have seen are identical between their tablet and phone versions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 31, 2011 @02:31PM (#35680476)

    It's not BS. There can be a huge benefit when the developer actually customizes their layout to account for more screen real estate with lower DPI. Automatically scaling apps usually results in odd looking UI and wasted space.

  • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @03:32PM (#35681490)

    Your reading comprehension skills seem to be a bit lacking.

    WTF? You're attacking a sincere, neutral, informative, contextual post?

    You said:

    Honeycomb is down to a 45ms requirement that hardware manufacturers have to meet.

    Honeycomb is a specific version of Android. Furthermore, you attributed a specific latency to Honeycomb which simply doesn't exist. Thusly me pointing out the common confusion which you now seem to be compounding. So factually, your statement is completely wrong. To address your factually incorrect statement, I said:

    That's a misrepresentation and a common misconception. The truth is, all 2.x and 3x, versions of Android are capable of competing with iOS's latency measurements.

    So since factually your statement is wrong and my statement is correct and I specifically corrected your statement with additional details which explains why your statement is wrong and your complaint is being addressed, I fail to see why my comprehension skills are the least bit questioned. Perhaps its not my comprehension skills which require correction?

    From here, you then take a completely unrelated turn in the same paragraph...which is not to say I'm a grammar Nazi - believe me, I'm not - its just that its confusing since it has absolutely nothing to do with your original assertion that my factually accurate and completely topical statements somehow prove a comprehension issue. This is especially true since you then continue to make an issue of something which I specifically address and yet insist its an issue when clearly its not. Which seemingly further suggests the comprehension issue is squarely between your monitor and chair.

    You said:

    The problem is with not being able to enforce strict hardware requirements on a plethora of different hardware.

    To which I had previously said:

    Those standards have already been set and are being met. They are on par with what Apple offers and likely will be offering for some time to come. The next generation of Android hardware will all meet the required specifications.

    Perhaps, "comprehension skills seem to be a bit lacking", doesn't mean what you think it means.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @03:37PM (#35681556) Journal

    yup, and wait for it....wait for it...you don't need honeycomb to be able do exactly that, which shows that the whole article is shoddy journalism at best.

    For the reality side, Microsoft has lost, as pointed out by groklaw. [groklaw.net]

  • by gig ( 78408 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @10:52PM (#35685198)

    > You've got some serious selection bias going on. The apps that someone has bothered to write
    > a separate version of are the ones that benefit from having a separate version.

    His bias is towards apps that are actually running on iPads. They are almost exclusively iPad apps. Almost nobody is using the iPhone apps on their iPads. It's just not happening. This was probably the biggest surprise of the iPad with regards to apps. Even when a user had a large collection of iPhone apps, they were going to App Store and buying replacement apps with iPad layouts, whether they were the same app/developer or not. In some cases, they were preferring a very new, basic iPad app over a sophisticated and mature iPhone app.

    The iPad has a PC screen and PC browser and email and other apps. When you're using it, you're in a PC context. It's a small Mac, not a big phone. When you switch to an iPhone app, you context switch to a phone, and users don't like it. You go from big views with menus on the side to tiny views that you have to go "back" out of to get to a menu. You go from 10 finger-sized buttons at a time to 3 huge buttons at a time.

    A lot of the same people who at first criticized iPad for being "just a big iPod touch" are now saying it's totally fine to run scaled-up phone apps on a XOOM. Running scaled-up phone apps is "just a big iPod touch". Running PC apps on a tablet makes it a mobile PC. That is what users want, because the people who are buying tablets in many cases already have a touch phone or iPod touch, they already have the mini-apps right there next to the tablet. They want you to put their PC into the tablet and make a mobile PC to bring along with the mobile phone, not put another phone into their tablet so they have 2 phones.

    A lot of people here are talking about this stuff like it's academic. It's not. There is a year of experience on this, with 25 million users now, and they are running the full-size apps, not the mini-apps.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday March 31, 2011 @11:03PM (#35685244) Journal

    The difference between iOS and Android is huge in that respect. On iOS, it does pixel-scaling (simply doubling them) for non-retina-display apps. The result is that 1) you get huge pixels, and 2) you get a huge black border around the app because you can't get from iPhone to iPad screen size by multiplying by a whole number.

    On Android, UI is generally designed fluid, and that's because there are many possible screen sizes. When running on tablets, the apps just reflow their UI. Worst case, you get a lot of wasted whitespace between controls, but still no pixellation. In many cases (e.g. file managers) it actually works surprisingly good.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"