Native tablet apps or Android's dirty little secret

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Batavian, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Batavian macrumors 6502

    Batavian

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    #1
    Help me settle an argument I am having with a friend.

    We are having yet another tablet debate...Android versus iOS. I am making the claim that while Android apps are at parity with iOS apps in terms of the number for phones, that there are vastly more HD or tablet apps for the iPad versus an Android tablet.

    Help me out (or prove me wrong). Are there statistics showing the number of HD iOS apps versus Android "HD" tablet apps out there? I always felt this was Android's "dirty little secret".
     
  2. SporkLover macrumors 6502

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    While I tend to agree with you, I find it odd that you debate it without facts to back up your position.
     
  3. iDuel macrumors 6502a

    iDuel

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    #3
  4. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    There are definitely more iPad specific apps than android tablet apps. However, android does a far better job of scaling non-tablet apps so it's not as much of a problem.
    Personally, I refuse to run non-iPad apps on my iPad because they look horrendous, but have a lot of non tablet specific apps on my transformer and they look fine.
     
  5. Batavian thread starter macrumors 6502

    Batavian

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    I don't have the facts. That's the question I'm asking.

    I too saw that David Pogue article. Pogue is an admitted fanboy. And that article is 5 months old. So with the release of the Fire, and Amazon's app store, the gap may be smaller. But Pogue's research shows its 90,380 iPad specific apps versus 232 Android "HD" tablet apps.

    The hard part is finding good information from Google about Android HD apps. If it truly is 90,000 to 232, or as Apple states 140,000 (thanks Duel), clearly Google doesn't want to "promote" this fact. Of course they/Google/Android are gaining. But what could it be since Pogue's article? Or since the release of the Fire? Maybe 1000 Android HD apps? Not to mention the lack of quality control in many of the Android apps.

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    Thanks Phil. This explains alot. I too wont run non-iPad apps on the iPad for the very same reason. I had assumed that Android phone apps look as terrible on Android tablets.
     
  6. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #6
    If it's not too much trouble, could you post a screen cap of how a phone app looks on the transformer? I'm just curious to see how Android does it.
     
  7. ReallyBigFeet, Dec 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

    ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

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    #7
    That's the dumbest thing I've ever read on here. If it weren't for people making threads on MR and other forums, Google would return ZERO results for any particular query. Do you even understand how Google SEO models work? The owners of MR _WANTS_ you to post the same topic countless times...it helps to get their hit rates to to the tippy top.

    Seriously, if you are going to "correct" someone, at least do so with sound logic.

    Back to the topic at hand...

    I'm not convinced that sheer numbers of "HD" apps for the iPad wins the argument. Many of these HD apps are identical versions of the same iPhone app resized for the iPad (and in many cases looking inferior to the same app on the iPhone's retina display).

    Frankly, I'd say the best way to compare an Android tablet to an iPad is by doing comparison of Top 10 apps. What you'll find in most cases is that the iPad and Android are on par for productivity and utility apps. Games are where the iPad jumps way, way ahead thanks to the large number of mainstream publishers that are supporting iOS but not Android.
     
  8. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

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    As an Android user I keep feeling this is where I think Android falls very short. The top productivity apps on Android are usually cross platform ones like Document to Go which is also available on iOS. But there's nothing they have that match's Apple's native ones such as Pages, Numbers, iMovie, Garage Band, etc.

    It's not just the first party ones. I sought alternative to some of my most oft used apps, GoodReader, Awesome Note and AirVideo, and none of the Android apps I've tried even came close to the polish of those iOS apps.

    Certainly there are great apps on Android, especially if one needs the access to file system or just need the big names ones like Kindle, etc, but in general for my personal usage, I find the gap between quality of iOS apps and Android apps are still pretty significant.
     
  9. Phil A., Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011

    Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #9
    Sure - here are a couple. You can tell they're not a tablet-optimised apps because of the four arrows icon two to the left of the clock.

    As you can see, the apps scale much better than just the double-sizing that iPhone apps get on the iPad
     

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  10. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030

    ReallyBigFeet

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  11. iDuel macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I was just suggesting a faster and more efficient way to get the information you need. All I did was input into Google "number of apps for iPad" and I got a result from Apple's website with the numbers.

    I answered the question at hand, and offered a suggestion.

    Surely that is a better option as opposed to posting on a forum and waiting for replies, especially when the OP was debating with another person.
     
  12. Batavian thread starter macrumors 6502

    Batavian

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    I didn't know about Android scaling so well. I just knew how terrible iPhone apps scale and assumed same with Android. Thanks for the replies.
     
  13. Sydde macrumors 68020

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    There is an underside to this, which you may be overlooking. First, if Apple gives a number that is 50% higher than Pogue's, it could be because Pogue is only counting iPad apps and skipping the "+" apps (universal). But whether he is or not, it is important to consider the actual downside to resolution independence.

    Android allows the user to have phone apps scaled up to graphically pretty tablet apps: so what? Have you used Mail on an iPhone? How about on an iPad? The UI is somewhat similar, but still not the same. Even on a retina-quality display, a phone-size app has to account for real-size, especially the size of those sausages used to control it.

    If you merely scale up, you still have a minimalist, sometimes kludgy interface, it just looks nicer. When devs are forced to consider iPad real estate, they find themselves looking at how they can make the UI more elegant and efficient. Some apps are fine just scaled, but most, I think, benefit from redesign.
     
  14. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

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    Absolutely agree. Even iPhone apps on iPad can look pretty fine if one jailbreaks the iPad and uses RetinaPad, which works especially well for games. But that doesn't mean phone apps are tablet apps and they need to have optimized UI for the extra space.

    Android apps do definitely scale better but those examples work better than usual because both apps you've shown there use non-standard UI - one shows a map and the other is a game. Retina iPhone apps on iPad with RetinaPad would look just as good when if they are displaying that kind of information. Also the downside with Android apps on tablet is there are phone apps that simply don't work on tablets - UI elements go missing, etc.
     
  15. ChazUK macrumors 603

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    #15
    This is spot on.

    Any game that has polygonal or vectored graphics will look fine. Once you hit the realms of 2D assets or simple text based apps, things start to go wrong.

    If you look at the attached screenshots below, Where's my Water looks OK on both ICS for tablets and phones but Dropbox has a mass of wasted screen estate on the Dropbox app. Dropbox's one saving grace is the use of the Action Bar on ICS but that does not make up for the lack of full tablet optimisation.

    Most phone applications are usable but there are plenty of cases where tablet optimisation would benefit usage immensly. Dropbox could for example use the Fragments API to list the root of a folder to the left with a list of the contents of a selected folder to the right, similar to the Google reader app.
    [​IMG]
     

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  16. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #16
    Here's another one with standard UI which still scales pretty well. I've personally not come across any apps that don't run properly on my Transformer.

    As far as RetinaPad is concerned, this requires JailBreaking so it's not really comparable and doesn't alter the fact that out of the box, the iPad does a really lousy job of running iPhone apps

    I'm not disputing that a properly designed tablet specific app is by far the best option, but at least non-tablet apps are more usable on Android tablets than the iPad. Of course, this could be one of the reasons there aren't so many available!
     

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  17. Mochi Hana macrumors 6502a

    Mochi Hana

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    #17
    For the most part I agree, but there are a few games that look alright scaled up on iPad.
     
  18. Sydde macrumors 68020

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    The other thing to consider is aspect ratio. One of the things that contributes to the popularity of the iPad is its shape. At 9+ inches, 4:3 simply makes sense in a way that it does not for smaller devices. You can scale with borders, but as we have seen, it just does not look good. Until Android devices recognize this, they will continue to be chasing the iPad.
     
  19. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #19
    I completely agree that the 4:3 aspect ratio is a far better option for tablets than 16:9. I regularly use my iPad in portrait, but find portrait on my Transformer feels "wrong"
     
  20. Night Spring macrumors G5

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    The Pogue article is several months old, while I believe the Apple number is more recent. iPad apps doubling in number during those months sound about right.
     
  21. Batavian thread starter macrumors 6502

    Batavian

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  22. Meanee macrumors 6502a

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    Just did a little bit of math, but I am sure it's not 100% correct, because I do not think that Appbrain has all of the Android apps on it.

    Appbrain stats show about 343104 total Android apps that they have. 3.7% require Honeycomb, and 2.4% require ICS which can mean either tablet or a phone.

    3.7% = 12695 apps that are designed for tablet.

    If you add 2.4% of ICS, the number becomes 20929 apps. But that won't be completely correct since ICS covers both phones and tablets.

    One thing I do miss on my Prime is seeing if the app is designed for tablet or a phone, like App Store did. When I install an app from a Market, I typically have to guess "Is it going to be a tablet app or a phone app?"

    I believe that Android Tablet app number should be hovering around 18,000 apps.
     

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