I am currently reviewing an Android tablet. As a rule, I use tablets exclusively in landscape mode. So, I have this tab configured not to switch to portrait and I am installing and running apps. I immediately noticed two things:
1. Many Android apps do not have a tablet mode.
You know that split screen mode like you would find on the iPad. Twitter, Facebook and a host of other apps on Android are just bigger versions of the standard smartphone apps. And it looks terrible.
See the pic above? That’s Facebook app on a tablet. No; that’s not how to do a tablet app. That’s just taking an interface designed for smartphones and slapping it on a bigger display.
2. Some Android apps display only in portrait mode on tablet.
What gives? Yes; I launch them, and they open up in portrait mode. I either twist my neck to be able to read/use them, or turn the tablet to hold it in portrait.
The second pic above is an example of an app that displays in portrait mode only. Bad. Appalling actually.
I’m sorry to put it this way, but its no wonder that the iPad rules the tablet space. It looks to me like in general, Android app developers are just lazier than their iOS counterparts. I cannot find any other logical conclusion for this.
The exceptions seem far in between and few. The Yahoo Messenger app (above), for example, has a tablet view that gives the user a split screen interface. Same goes for WordPress. Kudos, guys. The others? Shame on the developers. Most of them. Get back to your PCs and tweak your apps some more for tablet support, and then perhaps Android tablets stand a fair chance of doing well against the iPad.
For now, with the appalling level of tablet support on the Android platform that I see, there’s no fighting chance. Pick up an iPad, and the majority of apps – at least the ones that I have used – look stunning in split screen mode. That’s what sets the iPad apart from the iPhone. I don’t want a giant Android smartphone in my hands. I want a tablet. The apps should reflect that I’m using a tablet.
I can’t shout please.