What's wrong with Android on a tablet?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iCarabma, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. iCarabma macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2012
    Say what you will about Android, it has been very successful for Google in phones. And we all know why Android has failed thus far on tablets: (spoiler) It's terrible.

    But what you may not know is that despite Google's "doubling down" on tablets they are DOA. And it's not because of Apple's huge lead in market share (maybe it is a little because of that).

    Android is flawed today because developers are not making any money on Android tablets. They just port over phone apps (if they support tablets at all). This is solvable.

    The far more dangerous problem though is tablets WILL become most people's primary computer. Wether you believe an iPad is an actual PC or not, it's going to happen and it's happening much quicker than anyone expected.

    I'm not saying PC's are going away. Most people will still have a "traditional" PC the same way most kept a desktop when laptops starting taking off. There are some heavy lifting tasks that will be better on bigger machines for a long time. But people are going to find themselves using them less and less.

    If you don't believe look at what MS is doing with Windows 8. They are shipping an OS to everyone (EVERYONE!) that is better on a tablet. They are making a huge bet that this where the future is.

    Android can't produce a tablet experience that can compete with the original iPad. How far are they behind in producing one that can replace a PC, even for a light user.

    Apple's and MS's strategy is to add features and functionality from OS X and Windows to tablets until they can replace PC's. Listen to Tim Cook at the iPad (3) announcement (I will sum up: Post PC, Post PC, Post PC). This is what they see as the future. And while they are making OS X look more like iOS, they are making iOS preform like OS X.

    So where does Android go? Where is there roadmap for tablets? Will they be able to build a desktop level experience from scratch? A fragmented one with different skins?

    The problem is for Google isn't that Apple is beating in tablets today, it's that Apple has already killed them in a game that hasn't even really started yet.
  2. Yggbert macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    Well it's not Android that is bad, it's the lack of apps designed for the tablet screen. In reality that OS is actually really good, especially Ice Cream Sandwich.

    If Google don't sort this out soon then they will be destined to slip into third place when Windows 8 hits the tablet space. Oh and Google make your stupid SDK easier to install, thanks.
  3. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
  4. master-ceo macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    The SUN
    The ONLY reason(s) I don't have a android tablet is the silly menu bar at the bottom of the screen and the lack of Quality Music making apps and Midi Support.

    Otherwise I tried out the Samsung this weekend in Best Buy and I think its dope. I love the customization and the way it looks and feels. If I find one for the low I might consider getting one. If I wasn't into music making on a tablet, I probably would have one already.
  5. homeboy macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2007
    What's wrong? Quality of apps.

    What's to blame? Fragmentation.
  6. EarlZ macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    Quality of apps on andriod tablets blows, they should really rethink the this market.. Im an andriod user but I really pity andriod tablet apps after using the ipad2.
  7. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Wirelessly posted

    Last week I put Android Ice Cream Sandwich on a HP Touchpad and got to try it out a while. I was pretty impressed with its speed and amount of apps. Would I rather use a iPad? Of course. But android ain't that bad, it sort of reminds me of iPhone when it was first jail broken and had all the unofficial apps.
  8. Fliesen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2010
    i don't think that there's that much wrong with them nowadays.

    the problem aren't any dramatic flaws but nothing that makes them stand out particularly.
    Why get an Android tablet OVER an iPad?

    the ASUS transformer tablets are selling okay, because of the 'hybrid' aspect about it. the Kindle Fire sells quite well because of Amazon's content behind it.

    the problem why Android on tablet performs so much worse compared to Android on phones to their iOS counterparts is simple buying habits.

    With cellphones, most people still say "oh, i'm eligible for an upgrade, i'll just go over to my cellular carrier's store and see what they'll offer me. and there they find subsidized handsets at far lower pricepoints than the iPhone. People who don't actually WANT a new / better phone, will go price first. And there's some REALLY nice phones at 100$ when you get a new contract.

    On the tablet market, there's no "oh, i need to replace my old tablet, i'm due for an upgrade". You actively decide you want a tablet device, ... something that's not a real necessity. So you go there and see all those tablets starting at the 450 - 500 dollar pricepoint. no subsidies. you pick the prettiest one / the one that's supposedly the best -> iPad.
    nowadays, you go there -> you pick the one with the absurdly pretty display.

    people buying android tablets because of flash support or out of principle of supporting an 'open' platform are such a small minority.

    it's pretty much as it was/is with ebook-readers.
    people don't say "i want an ebook reader, let's see what they have", they say "i want a kindle" or "i want a nook".
  9. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    I agree with you on Android currently flailing in the markets. They really aren't taking enough market share to bother. I think Android licensees are also losing money on their Android ops.

    Here are my reasons for Android currently doing poorly. If they fix these issues, they will trump Apple:

    1. Fragmentation.
    Where are all the ICS phones and ICS tablets??? Most people are still on 2.x and a minority of about 10% of users are on ICS. 10% is a really small number of Android users using the latest version of Android which is equal to iOS. iOS on the other hand has about 90% on iOS5. That's a HUGE difference.
    2. OS differentiation
    All Android apps look and function the same on a phone or on a tablet. Sure it's consistent but it really offers no expansion of functions between tablet and smartphone. Why not just get an Android phone and call it a day? If you need a larger screen, they build in HDMI. Why buy an Android tablet at all???
    3. Spec confusion and market saturation
    Everyone and their brother is making an Android tablet. Why? They're all looking to become the next Motorola. If I wanted to right now go to Shenzhen and have a custom tablet made of about 10,000 units, I could get it done cheaply and quickly. There's a lot of confusion over the Android tablets and Android smartphones because they are all different but all the same. All of them do almost the same things. Some of them will have maybe 1-2 added features over the rest but in terms of functionality, all of them don't have a leg up on each other. Even worse, they all use different version of Android which spans from 2.x all the way to 4.xICS. Consumers just don't know which ones are good and what they should tell their friends to get. Why bother? They are all the same!
    4. Android Market fragmentation
    This is the motherlode of all poorly managed systems. Android Market is completely fragmented. There's just no quality control over the apps besides the app developers and not all the apps work on all the devices. What??? Not all apps work on all devices? Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like. It sounds like you go into a restaurant and the server tells you that the mashed potatoes and gravy are not compatible to your steak. Even worse is that even though you have a top grade dry aged New York strip, you have to have canned peas with it because the peas are not designed for your steak. So the apps are not designed for your device in mind. They are designed to work with specific models that are probably in Android 2.x. Confused? Yes.

    So yes, while ICS is great, most people aren't on it and it's both the manufacturers and Google's fault for doing that. If Google made ICS upgradeable for all devices, manufacturers would get mad at Google for diluting their product lines. Why? Because all the tablets and phones are essentially the same at that point with minor differences in hardware. MS on the other hand is making Windows 8 which is about as flawed as it's predecessors. The problem with Windows 8 isn't the interface. In fact the Metro interface is quite cool and definitely user friendly. MS's flaw lies in their back end support and the base of their system. It's still NTFS, it's still the same old IE/DOS/Windows underneath it all. They just can't seem to part with the base tech that made people switch off of their systems in the first place. So now we have iOS. Going back to Apple's 1984 commercial back in 1984, Apple is becoming Big Brother. They are seeking to control the space for tablets and information. It's why iCloud is available. It's why iOS works best with other Apple products. Apple controls your usage by controlling the OS and controlling the connectivity. I think it's a good thing because consumers are reluctant to control their own data. We might as well have a company like Apple tell us how to think because it's easier to do it that way. "Do it MY way. Do it the Apple way." is essentially what the message is.
  10. Nevzorus macrumors 6502

    Feb 29, 2012
    They all said good things ^

    The fun thing in our world is that those who loves a company so much wouldn't care if their tablet was like the iPad or samsung tablet. If you LOVE Apple and everything they do, then you would still like their tablet even if it was exactly how the Samsung 10.1 Tablet is now. Those who hates iPad and loves Samsung would really like it if the Samsung 10.1 Tablet looked and was like an iPad. Most people buys things because of the company and those who cares actually buys it because they like it and knows things about it.
  11. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Wirelessly posted

    Samsung lovers might be happy to know that the apple iPad is built out of 90% Samsung parts.
  12. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Android's biggest problem is always going to be what most of it's biggest fans say is it's best feature....the fact that it is open source.

    Fragmentation is NEVER going away as long as Google keeps Android as open source software and letting vendors put it an increasing array of hardware profiles.
  13. Diversion macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I've been saying it for a long time, Android is nice and very viable for phones.. but garbage on tablets.. I'm glad Apple called Android out on tablets at the Ipad3 event .(Maybe it'll prompt Google to make some changes to entice developers to polish their apps). Most android apps are really phone apps blown up on a large screen and they look horrible..

    Even when there's both Android and Apple versions of phone apps, the Android version looks like garbage.. For example, Slacker radio app. Amazing interface on iOS.. butthole casserole on Android.

    I know it's up to the app developers to even up the interfaces, but Slacker isn't the only app that has a craptastic version on Android and a great interface on iOS.

    It really boils down where the money is made.. iOS brings more money to devs, they tend to provide a cleaner/polished UI on iOS because of it.. Possibly the iOS SDK/API setup is easier to use as well.
  14. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    It's all about what apple demands vs. what google demands of it's developers also. Apple is more concerned about quality and the experience and google is more concerned about quantity. Kind of like how Dell is with computers. Push as many out the door as you can...where apple could sell tons less but still make more money bc the quality and user experience is so good. Kinda like the walmart comparison as well...again it's not really about the quality or user experience
  15. turkey1 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    I'm a guy who who got the first iPad the week it came out, and kept it until the transformer came out. First I love my Samsung galaxy s2 and my evo befor it, but I cant do the Android tabs because they are buggy as hell. I had a transformer, thrive and a galaxy tab, all of them would crash out if the Web browser multiple times day, plus reboot for no reason. the final straw was after the ics update my transformer would get stuck in a boot loop , and you would need to drain the battery for it to be functional. So now back to the iPad and loving it, might try the iPhone 5 if its larger then the previous ones.
  16. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    You mean like 4 different iOS screen resolutions and different iOS versions because people on older devices don't always upgrade?
  17. 5aga macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2003
    Gig City
    still fare more "cohesive" than Android. Most of the resolution discrepancies can be resolved easily with Xcode.

    Android fragmentation isn't just different resolutions. It's the crapware the vendors put in it, which results in different experiences depending on the vendor.

    If Google really wants success with tablets they need to lock down the OS to a degree, or at least require certain hardware specs to distribute Android, much like MS is planning.
  18. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I agreed with pretty much your whole post there, but you're wrong on some of the MS stuff.

    First: NTFS is pretty good (I'd say better than apple's HFS). IE is pretty good these days too - not the best by a long way, but "good enough" and a long, long way from the bad old days of IE6. Windows hasn't been based on DOS since windows 98 (I'll ignore ME, too many bad memories). The base windows for tablets is likely quite different from the desktop version anyway. So basically none of the reasons you've given for it being bad are really valid - I'd say the back end and base of windows is pretty good these days, and most people are reasonably happy with it.

    The real problem is this: They're mixing a tablet and desktop OS, and forcing desktop users to live with it. If you have a nice workstation and a keyboard + mouse, you're expected to use a touchscreen UI with huge buttons and squares everywhere. It's a huge step backwards for regular PC users in a lot of ways.

    On tablets (the ARM based ones at least) there will be no windows desktop - only metro. Metro is pretty decent, so that's OK - we'll have to see how it works out, but in theory at least the windows 8 tablets could be pretty good, and serious competition for apple.

    And there's a massive amount of windows software available already of course! No, wait. There isn't - in fact there's hardly any software available because metro is pretty much a new OS. Software will need re-writing for it, UIs will have to be redesigned, it's a lot of work for developers. Will they put that work in? A lot will see if it takes off first, because it's a new platform that's very late to the market. It starts with 0% market share, and that's not an appealing figure for developers. And that's exactly the same position Windows Phone 7 is in. Late to market, pretty good, but largely ignored by devs because it has no market share, and largely ignored by customers because it has no market share and very few apps.

    So, you have a tablet that has a big uphill struggle when it enters the market, and you have a desktop OS that will be less productive because it's not really designed for desktop use. That's the problem with it.

    MS really need Windows 8 to fly - they're coming under pressure from the mac on the desktop, and the desktop market itself is under pressure from tablets. They have a shrinking percentage of a shrinking market. They need to win that market back, and they need to start dominating the new tablet market or windows will end up disappearing.
  19. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    Not sure if I'm necessarily adding to the discussion, but I wanted to say that I didn't realize iOS' full potential until using it on the iPad. In my opinion, iOS is far superior on it than on the iPhone (In fact, I'm starting to see how poorly represented iOS is on the iPhone. For example, switching tabs in Safari on the iPhone takes 3 or more steps, versus the more natural method on the iPad).
  20. striker33 macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2010
    Last time I checked, all iOS devices have the same version OS. If your device is so old that it cant support the latest features, then I'd suggest crying elsewhere.

    Similarly most apps are designed with both screen resolutions in mind, for now. By the time the next iPhone is out, expect the 3GS to be phased out completely of app development. In a couple of years, the same thing will have happened to the original iPad and iPad 2.

    Its progression, or evolution, if you will. It happens with virtually every possible object known to man.

    Don't be afraid, its time to upgrade!
  21. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    4 different resolutions yes, but only 2 screen sizes. That means only 2 screen layouts to design. The 4 resolutions aren't a big issue - I'd say 95% of the work is creating the UI graphics, and only 5% or less is needed to save the same graphics at 2 resolutions and do any cleanup. Apple made this very easy for us.

    Compare that to android, where you have almost every screen size between <3" and >10". It's not a case of saving out different graphics resolutions, it's a case of many unique layouts and designs to get your app to work well with a variety of sizes. You're looking at 2x more work than you'd need for iOS I'd say, perhaps more. And you still have different resolutions on similar sized devices - and not nice easy 2x multiples either. End result: most devs design for the most common size, which is a regular phone, and just scale on anything else. You end up with crappy graphics on larger devices and tablets, and giant buttons or lots of empty space between normal sized ones.

    The iOS versions are easy too - because all (reasonably new, which is most of the market) devices can get the latest iOS version for free, most people upgrade. Especially since it's built-in with iOS 5. When most people have the latest version, you can afford to target it. Most of my recent apps have been iOS 5 only, and I haven't seen any drop in sales as a result.
  22. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Amazon's ecosystem is the only cohesive environment for Android so far.

    I just don't like Android's industrial design and OS.
  23. shellbryson macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2006
    I wouldn't be so sure. Working on a number of cutting edge HTML5+WebGL projects here that MS have openly stated they will never support, despite every other modern browser supporting the technologies. It'll only be "good enough" until the poor end user realises they cannot view this stuff. Come end of the year & Windows 8, IE10 will already be hopelessly out of date.... just like IE6.
  24. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I use IE, and I have to say, I haven't come across a "must-see" site that IE can't handle. Whenever a site throws up a pop-up that says I must install Firefox to view the site, I just shrug and move on. What exactly am I missing by doing so? I have no idea. Could you give some concrete examples?
  25. Arnezie macrumors 65816


    Oct 10, 2011
    Samsung owned company's building apple spec parts are a bit different than "Samsung" parts. FYI

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