Is Android lacking when it comes to tablet optimized apps?

Dolorian

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 25, 2007
1,086
0
As someone who is planning to buy a Nexus 7 (or 10 depending on what Google presents in their upcoming event), I am wondering if when I get the tablet I wil end up using smartphone apps scaled to fit my tablet for the most part as opposed to apps that are made and optimized for tablets.

I keep hearing this complain about how Android lacks when it comes to tablet optimized apps and how iOS has the clear advantage here. So, how are things really? Is there a serious lack of tablet ready apps or do most of the common apps already have a tablet version?

What has been your experience as Android tablet user?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,506
1,832
I use an Android tablet like a computer. For example I use the web browser for forums instead of tapatalk and for Facebook. The rest of my apps scale to look very good (games) and there are tablet versions for the rest of my stuff like my podcast app.
 

ReallyBigFeet

macrumors 68030
Apr 15, 2010
2,934
100
Impossible to answer without you narrowing down the category.

For example, if category is note-taking via text input, then something like Evernote is available. If music composition is your thing, it's going to hard to top GarageBand on the iPad.

So the answer could be quite different depending on your use cases.
 

viskon

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2012
464
10
All apps scale to the tablet size without any problem. But generally speaking, most apps do not take advantage of the larger screen. They are stretched out versions of the phone apps.
 

LOLZpersonok

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2012
711
14
Calgary, Canada
I couldn't say. I have a really awful Android tablet I purchased for $100...It's a no-name brand thing and the hardware it has really limits Android's capabilities. But the Apps that I do have don't seem very optimized though.
 

Sensamic

macrumors 68030
Mar 26, 2010
2,612
289
Yes. Yes. Yes.

That's why I haven't bought an android tablet yet, even though the nexus 7 is so cheap.
 

blackhand1001

macrumors 68030
Jan 6, 2009
2,595
22
All the apps I use work great on tablets and the majority of the apps worth downloading on phones have tablet layouts. Things work pretty well on ones that don't, much better than the ipad phone app scaling. Games like angry birds, cut the rope, etc don't need seperate tablet apps as android renders them at the devices native resolution automatically so those are automatically tablet ready. No scaling is done. Just get the nexus 7. I am extremely happy with mine. It would still be happy even if I paid 350 or 400. Its that good.
 
Last edited:

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,506
1,832
OP: Do you have any app in particular you want a screen shot of? I'm using a 10.1" Xoom so which was made for landscape. I *should* be having the worse experience....
 

Dolorian

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 25, 2007
1,086
0
OP: Do you have any app in particular you want a screen shot of? I'm using a 10.1" Xoom so which was made for landscape. I *should* be having the worse experience....
Ok here are the apps I use the most:

Gmail, Google+, Chrome, Google Talk, Feedly, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Evernote, Google Calendar, Google Drive, YouTube, Goole Play Music, WhatApp, Amazon, IMDB, Netflix, SimpleMind Free.

I am sure games like Final Fantasy III, The Bard's Tale and emulators for PSX, SNES and NES should scale nicely. The apps I listed above would be nice if they they have a tablet version. I imagine that those made by Google should have their tablet version out.

----------

Impossible to answer without you narrowing down the category.

For example, if category is note-taking via text input, then something like Evernote is available. If music composition is your thing, it's going to hard to top GarageBand on the iPad.

So the answer could be quite different depending on your use cases.
Fair enough, checkout the list I made above.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,506
1,832
Ok here are the apps I use the most:

Gmail, Google+, Chrome, Google Talk, Feedly, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Evernote, Google Calendar, Google Drive, YouTube, Goole Play Music, WhatApp, Amazon, IMDB, Netflix, SimpleMind Free.

I am sure games like Final Fantasy III, The Bard's Tale and emulators for PSX, SNES and NES should scale nicely. The apps I listed above would be nice if they they have a tablet version. I imagine that those made by Google should have their tablet version out.

----------



Fair enough, checkout the list I made above.
Some of those have sensitive data but here are some.

YouTube


Chrome


Calendar (had to make it look bad due to personal info on a right side info bar)


Netflix


HBO Go


Play Music

Featured


Top album (you can obviously change genre etc, I don't use it)


Google maps


Beyondpod


Dead Trigger (just like with iDevices the better the device the better the graphics)


The only app I have that does this

Speedtest


Doesn't bother me with this app though
 

Lara F

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2005
850
9
Montreal, Quebec
The Nexus 7 is small enough that I honestly don't find tablet optimization an issue (and I have used the iPad as well). I really only use landscape mode for videos and games because otherwise the vertical height is too little, and the apps have all scaled nicely IMO.

A 10 inch tab I'd probably be more hesitant about. But the 7 is fine.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
Even the Nexus 7 doesn't have many apps optimized for it. No amazon app for the nexus, seriously?!

I think the nexus 7 is a great tablet for a great price, but a lot of developers aren't really concerned about optimization since 7 inches isn't all that much bigger than monstrous 5 inch phablets they are already developing for.

That being said I still enjoy my nexus and I have found most apps I've wanted to be within my own tolerable limits.
 

zbarvian

macrumors 68010
Jul 23, 2011
2,004
2
Some of those have sensitive data but here are some.

YouTube
Image

Chrome
Image

Calendar (had to make it look bad due to personal info on a right side info bar)
Image

Netflix
Image

HBO Go
Image

Play Music

Featured
Image

Top album (you can obviously change genre etc, I don't use it)
Image

Google maps
Image

Beyondpod
Image

Dead Trigger (just like with iDevices the better the device the better the graphics)
Image

The only app I have that does this

Speedtest
Image

Doesn't bother me with this app though
Half of those are Google apps...
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,506
1,832
How did you get YouTube to go like that? I'm on my Nexus 7 and it only ever looks like this.
What happens when you touch YouTube at the top to go back. Then put it in landscape? More then likely a 7" tab won't do it because even on a 10" those video icons are very small, probably too small on a 7" tab...

----------

Half of those are Google apps...
And I didnt even do all the Google apps he asked for like Gmail , Google+, Google Talk and Google Drive....
 

xuselppa

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2012
48
0
Android has proper scaling built into the code and it works wonderfully, unlike with say, the iPhone 5 that can't scale without the code being rewritten for the app, hence the black or grey bars at the top and bottom/sides of the screen. Or say using the iPad and having to click 2x, which then pixelates the crap out of the app.

Android has to have scaling built in because it is run on so many different screen sizes. Besides, if an app hasn't been designed for your specific tablet or phone, the Play Store will tell you and you won't be able to download it (unless you go out of your way and sideload the apk file).

Anyone that says Android doesn't scale properly aren't downloading official apps or are using some brown box, no name brand tablet with a crappy display running at 800x480. I have used Samsung Tab's and HP Touchpad's, along with a 7" Android tablet (Nexus7), all running ICS or JB and official apps, and have never had the scaling issues I had with the iPad.
 

xuselppa

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2012
48
0
What happens when you touch YouTube at the top to go back. Then put it in landscape? More then likely a 7" tab won't do it because even on a 10" those video icons are very small, probably too small on a 7" tab...

----------



And I didnt even do all the Google apps he asked for like Gmail , Google+, Google Talk and Google Drive....
That YouTube app looks like that on certain devices (I know the Samsung Tab 8.9 and 10.1 look like that).
 

Dolorian

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 25, 2007
1,086
0
Some of those have sensitive data but here are some.

...
Thanks for all the screenshots! I understand that some of the apps I listed have sensitive data. The Google apps look nice, as expected. I think it is safe to assume that all of their apps have tablet ready versions. Evernote as was mentioned also has a tablet version, which is nice as I use that app often too. I'll have to look up if feedly is optimized for tablets.

Thanks again for the screens!

Here are two more I found on another article:

Gmail


Twitter


Gmail looks nice, having a panel on the left, but Twitter is just scaled and doesn't uses the bigger screen efficiently. Both images are from this article:

Google to Android devs: make nicer tablet apps, pretty please?

Good read.
 
Last edited:

blackhand1001

macrumors 68030
Jan 6, 2009
2,595
22
Ok here are the apps I use the most:

Gmail, Google+, Chrome, Google Talk, Feedly, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Evernote, Google Calendar, Google Drive, YouTube, Goole Play Music, WhatApp, Amazon, IMDB, Netflix, SimpleMind Free.

I am sure games like Final Fantasy III, The Bard's Tale and emulators for PSX, SNES and NES should scale nicely. The apps I listed above would be nice if they they have a tablet version. I imagine that those made by Google should have their tablet version out.

----------



Fair enough, checkout the list I made above.
All the games will work perfectly as they pretty much never have scaling issues on android (trust me, I even messed with sdk emulator to emulate a device with very strange resolutions like 8x2 ratios and I couldn't break the games. Also i think just about everyone of those apps you listed in your first list also has a tablet layout. You should be pretty good.
 

Apollo 13

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2010
672
8
I had a android tablet before handing it to my GF. It was a Asus Transformer Prime. A lot of the apps looked like crap because they weren't optimized for tablet. It was so irrating because I bought the ipad 3 the same day I got the Transformer and was comparing apps. I was actually going to keep the Transformer for myself and let my daughter and GF use the ipad, but it changed when I compared the apps. If getting a android tablet go with the Nexus 7 since phone apps won't look bad.

----------

How did you get YouTube to go like that? I'm on my Nexus 7 and it only ever looks like this.
that's because you're using the phone app.
 

onthecouchagain

macrumors 604
Mar 29, 2011
7,382
1
SO buy one. Rumor is the 16gb will drop to 199 and a 32gb will take its place at 249.
I don't know if I can justify such an interstitial device between my Galaxy Nexus, my iPad 3 and my MBA 13"...

Just can't justify it, even though I want it. I may not be able to resist if there's a really good bargain this black Friday or holiday season...
 

xuselppa

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2012
48
0
Thanks for all the screenshots! I understand that some of the apps I listed have sensitive data. The Google apps look nice, as expected. I think it is safe to assume that all of their apps have tablet ready versions. Evernote as was mentioned also has a tablet version, which is nice as I use that app often too. I'll have to look up if feedly is optimized for tablets.

Thanks again for the screens!

Here are two more I found on another article:

Gmail
Image

Twitter
Image

Gmail looks nice, having a panel on the left, but Twitter is just scaled and doesn't uses the bigger screen efficiently. Both images are from this article:

Google to Android devs: make nicer tablet apps, pretty please?

Good read.
Twitter is not that great compared to Tweetcaster in my opinion. This is Tweetcaster on my Nex7:
 

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