It has been no secret that one of Android’s weaknesses has rested within the quality of the apps available on the Google Play store when compared to those found on Apple’s App Store.
Many of the apps designed for iOS appear to boast a better user interface, and higher levels of quality.
While there are certainly very good Android apps available, these exist in a sea of mediocrity, with Android users left to sift and sort to try separate the wheat from the chaff.
Now, Google appears to be addressing the problem, as the company has encouraged developers to take into account certain app quality issues when creating apps for tablets.
In its Tablet App Quality Checklist
, the internet giant advises developers to ensure that their app “meets the basic expectations of tablet users through compelling features and an intuitive, well-designed UI” before they publish an app on Google Play.
Keys for success
The company points out that tablets are a growing part of the Android installed base that “offer new opportunities for user engagement and monetisation”, and then gives developers a checklist that focuses on quality, feature set, and the user interface (UI). The company asserts that paying attention to the focus areas mentioned could have “a significant impact on the app's success.”
Amongst the items that developers are encouraged to bear in mind are issues such as optimising their layouts for larger screens, taking advantage of extra screen area available on tablets, using icons and adjusting font sizes and touch targets for tablet screens, and refraining from requiring hardware features that might not be available on tablets.
The document further gives guidance to those developers who are designing apps for 7” and 10” tablets.
To the point
Google’s more proactive approach to increasing the overall quality of the apps on Google Play certainly makes sense, most particularly in light of the very well received 7” Asus Nexus 7
, which Google used to showcase Android Jelly Bean.
Additionally, it also comes in the midst of rumours that Google would be teaming up with Samsung to release a 10” Nexus tablet as well. The latter, according to an analyst’s interview with CNET
, would aim at besting the new iPad’s Retina display (2 048x1 536) by boasting a resolution of 2 560 x 1 600 (299 ppi).
However, it matters little how impressive any Android tablet is if it doesn’t have the apps that take full advantage of the hardware on offer.
Hopefully, Google’s intervention will close the gap between the quality of Android apps when compared with their iOS counterparts. That would be good news for everyone, and may just make competition between Android and iOS based tablets even fiercer.