The biggest problem for Android tablets to begin with was the lack of optimized apps for the wide range of form factors. Andy Rubin, the former head of Android always claimed that it was not feasible for the company to have design restrictions in place because of the wide variety of form factors. Last year, with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean things started to change as the Nexus 7 showed that Android could become a good tablet OS and could have tablet optimized apps. Of course, Google offered some tips to developers for their apps and the smaller 7-inch size of the Nexus 7 meant that blown up phone apps did not look very abysmal on the larger display. Now, a report from research firm Canalys, claims that the tablet app rout Android faces is still far from over a half of the top iPad apps are not yet available or optimized for Android tablets.
Of the top 50 paid or free iPad apps available on the App Store 30 percent were not available on Google Play and 18 percent were not optimized for tablets. This research was conducted in the first half of 2013, which means the data still is pretty fresh. While Apple has 375,000 apps built specifically for the iPad, Google has not released official number for its Android tablets, but it is believed that a number is quite minuscule.
The good news is that Canalys expects this to change as Google is continuously improving the Play Store making app discovery simper and at the same time consumers are buying more Android tablets than ever. Currently, developers have not deemed it important enough to make high quality Android experiences, but as the market share of Android tablets increases, they will be unable to ignore the platform.
Another problem is that Android is viewed as a platform where people can get access to free applications more easily. Canalys notes that 52 percent of the top titles on the Play Store that are optimized for tablets have six titles that are offered for free on Android, but have paid counterparts on iOS.
The problem with free apps is that they are ad supported, which is bad for a device’s battery life, the experience is more often than not below par and often the user has to suffer unexpected intrusions. The report suggests that Google should focus more on paid apps and have the ability to lure more credit card details.