Google Android Tablet Optimized Apps — Two Years Too Late

by John Kirk   |   October 9th, 2012

On Monday, (Google) published a “tablet app quality checklist” on its Android Developer website that urges developers to build tablet-optimized apps… ~ Wired

I’d like to applaud Google for this move, I really would. But let’s put this in context:

– Google should have done this when Samsung introduced the Samsung Tab some two years ago or, at the very latest, when they introduced the tablet-friendly Honeycomb Android operating system in February 2011.

– Google should have done this long BEFORE Microsoft introduced Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft gave Android tablets a two year head start…and Google frittered it away.

– Google should have done this BEFORE they changed strategies, introduced the Nexus 7, and made it nearly impossible for any other Android manufacturer to compete in the Android tablet space.

For the past two years, Google has, at the very least neglected, at the very most sabotaged, their Android tablet efforts. Now they’re asking developers to dedicate their time and their resources to creating tablet specific apps. It’s a great message delivered far too late.

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?
  • jnffarrell1

    Google should do this when small, medium and large (5,7,10 inch) tablets all have at least HDTV screens and the graphics computer to play uncompressed HDTV. When is that? Before 2013.

  • http://twitter.com/ihbrune Henning

    Probably Google is doing one thing after the other:

    1) Achieve worldwide domination of the smartphone market: checked
    2) Do the same thing on the tablet market: partially completed

    I now own three android tablets:

    * the underperforming XOOM which started with the atrocious Android 3

    * a 90€ tablet from china with Android 4 which works great for limited tasks like an ebook reader or media center

    * the great Nexus 7 with Android 4.1 and a price tag of only 199€.

    The XOOM was very disappointing, but the other devices deliever a great performance at a pricepoint Apple and Microsoft will never match.

    Let’s see how the post-PC world looks like in a year….

    • FalKirk

      Two things.

      First, Android is anything but dominating smartphones. Market share is not an end in itself, it’s a tool designed to acquire profits. Market share without margins is an empty cipher. In terms of garnering profits, Android has badly underperformed.

      Second, you can’t do “one thing after the other” with platform. Platform requires two things to happen simultaneously – developers creating apps because there are customers – customers buying product because there are apps. With platform you’re either on an upward spiral or a downward spiral. The longer Google waits, the worse their tablet platform becomes.

      • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

        Market share without margins is an empty cipher.

        Another phrase that should be tattooed on the heads of professional and amateur Apple bear pundits.

      • http://twitter.com/jeffallencraig Jeff Craig

        Google doesn’t care about smartphone profits. Did you miss the memo about how it’s an open-source OS and any money Google makes from the software is not important. They are only concerned about keeping their search engine market-share strong and to keep a foothold in mobile software in order to drive advertisement revenues.

        With 3 out of every 4 smartphones sold being Android, I’d say they succeeded in those goals.

  • http://twitter.com/jeffallencraig Jeff Craig

    Apple had a 2 year head-start with their iPhones. Android smartphones didn’t really start taking off until 2010. Now it’s 2012, and Android has surpassed the number of iOS total apps. Once Android started gaining momentum, it covered same ground that iOS did (in terms of app development), in half the time.

    Now Android tablets are finally starting to sell. 2012 is the first year Android will sell more than 10 million tablets (it’s around 5-10 million per quarter now). And 2012 is the first year we’ve see the release of decent Android tablets. As tablet sales increase, we’ll see the same amount of tablet app development as we saw in Android smartphones.

    With the release of Win 8 tablets, it’s not clear how market share will balance out, but I still predict that Android will become the dominating force. I find it hard to believe that an OS that is selling 3 out of every 4 smartphones won’t take the top spot for tablets as well.

    What I’m trying to say here is: It’s not too late. It’s only getting started. I’ll catch up with you in another two years, when Android apps double both iOS and Win8 and then we can compare notes…