Why Are Apps For Android Tablets Often Not As Good As iPad Apps?

Right now, Android tablet apps don't belong in the same conversation as the iPad. As much hardware versatility as Android tablets offer (and there are a lot of great things!), the app situation in droidland is pitiful. Sascha Segan at PC Mag took a closer look at the app situation and compared the same app on Android and iPad next to each other.

The difference? Segan likens Android tablets app to WAP browsers that look like a better fit for Razrs and dumbphones than a tablet app. iPad apps? Better than smartphone apps, as tablet apps should be. Check out Segan's full report here, where he compares more apps against each other. [PC Mag]

College Humor looks like a mobile website on Android and a full-fledged experience on iPad.

Not all Android tablet apps have to suck though! The CNN app on Android tablets looks just as amazing and arguably works even better than the iPad. Where's the stuff like this?



    Queue the bleeting

    probably because people that use androids don't care about design or usability.

      They adopted android for the concept. The concept hasn't held up yet.... Looks like they can wait 10 years while the underpaid developers work on it, in the mean time, our rich software developers over apples way will be rolling out the goods.

      Sam, and people who like iPads are zealots of fascist regimes because they like being told what and how to use something with overbearing dominance from a company that believes just cause you buy their products doesn't mean you should be able to use it.

        Bwwaaa-ha-ha-ha.. now THATS funny!

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

        I think it's more the case that the people who buy iPads dont want to have to 'work out' how there product works. I understand the mentality of Android users, but the general public does not share it.

        Hi Greg,
        So my grandma is a fascist?
        You have to understand that not everyone is a fan boy. The iPad is targeted for the general population.

      Typical hyperbole. We do care about design and usability, many developers for Android evidently don't which is a shame. Many of us have other reasons for liking Android better and not obsessing over everything on the screen being "omg shiny" and buying into the Apple walled garden and its inherent restrictions.

      Samantha, saying "I don't care if this product is hard to use" is a BAD thing. Good usability and design is the sign of a good product. This goes past Droid vs iOS or mac vs pc or any of those frustratingly circular arguments. If you say "I don't care about usability", you're just fooling yourself. EVERYONE cares about usability.

    As a point of interest, the 'investigation' behind the article is a little light in terms of why?

    It does sound like someone claiming 'iOS apps are just better' - Which may be the case.

    Not having looked into the android SDK just yet, I can only assume that there is a lack of pre-designed UI.

    iOS, WP7 and win8 metro apps all come with pre-made UI elements intended to not just look good if used correctly, but fit into the theme of the OS, and is pretty cool.

    Would be interesting to know if android has any of those elements in the SDK, which would most likely be the cause behind these UI differences.

      Sorry Jack, that comment was wrong for a number of reasons

      1. It was on topic.
      2. It was well thought out and interesting
      3. It didn't contain the words, "fascist regimes", "iSheep", "Fandroids" or "Google rools!
      4. You didn't call anyone stupid for liking a particular phone.

      Please try better in future. Remember this is Gizmodo, where fanboys and trolls rule ... noob!

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

        I think that the design elements were only added in the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK update and so it's still young.

          Awesome, might have to download the SDK and have a look around.

          Design elements were there before ICS, they just sucked so bad until Gingerbread (IIRC) and above that people skinned over the top of them (think buttons and tabs) with images that were almost as terrible. Worth a look though Jack, I'd definitely download the SDK and Eclipse and check it out.

        lol. +1

    Unfortunately it sounds like a catch-22. Good apps help sell tablets. High numbers of tablet users drive developers to build good apps.

    Android tablets don't have numbers like the iPad yet so there's less motivation to build proper Android apps.

    I have 3 suggestions that could change this:
    1: google should build an iPad to Android tablet app converter to make it extremely simple to release existing iPad apps for android.
    2. I know The Android development application has options to customize views by screen size - maybe take it a bit further and auto convert mobile apps to a couple of ore-defined templates to make the development process a bit quicker.
    3 - Google should increase the advertising revenue component for tablet sized apps to motivate more development of them.

    My 2c - Scott

    Lazy developers. That is all. 100% their fault

      +1 This. With larger companies like Facebook and Twitter, it is criminal how lazy they are.

        Not really?

        Keep in mind that the iPad and iPhone apps for Facebook (and I assume android) don't have any ads. So Facebook doesn't make any money off them. So it's not surprisingly they do not want to allocate large resources to it.

      I'd have a look at my post above. Odds are thats the case.

    What if there is Flash? Oh wait none of the most popular sites on the web use that.

    No flash on a Phone, meh. annoying but okay. No flash on a Tablet criminal. It's the worste thing about my iPad.

      What about it's lack of spell check ;)

        I think you mean, "spelling" check - Harry Potter has use for a spell checker.

    +1 Musty and Jack. Maybe Dave, Greg and RooBoy should ready the article, the source link and the related screen shots before they make a fool of themselves.

    Honestly, it's down to market share.

    It may/may not shift like phones eventually have. But simple facts are there are a shitload more iPads out there than android tablets. Why wouldn't you spend more time on them.

    As a side note, there have been a number of stories pointing out that iOS uses are more likely to spending money on apps than android users. So again there is more finacial reason to do it also. (though to be fair I think the apps shown here may be all free, I don't know)

      Blake, actually there are shitloads more Android tablets out there in use than iPads -- as with Android phone vs iPhones -- of course, Apple's devices are a unified collective, vs literally thousands of manufacturers and resellers of Android devices, so they are vastly more profitable as a hardware provider. But any software vendor or developer would be mindless to follow the huge marketing efforts of Apple -- there is simply nowhere near the user base or potential of Androids' apps, on top of the fact they are competing with so many more software vendors (iTunes had many years to build their eShop prior to Google's Marketplace), Aple also takes a bigger cut of profits from developers, licensees and producers (than Google / Blackberry / NokiaOvi / etc).
      so why do developers stick with iOS ? the developer tools / SDK are one likely aspect, but also because in most cases, they began their foray into apps with it, it's what they know already and it's hard to break out of your comfort zone, even if you could earn twice as much by switching. once developers start leveraging cross-platform tools, the disparity in releases for one platform or another become irrelevant, as new apps would be released for all popular platforms. together. however, that said Apple and Microsoft will always have their hero-apps, which they pay tens of millions to developers for exclusive distribution rights -- (pretty much any that you would see on the Apple website) , Microsoft / Sony / Nintendo have perfected the same method to draw new, loyal customers to their gaming platform. if Google invests more in Android apps they will reap great rewards in future loyal customers, but even without it Google's hardware is becoming as ubiquitous Microsoft Windows in the 90s.

    Can't speak for the rest of the Android user base but I tend not to use apps that just mirror the functionality of an existing website, eg..CNN, College Humor etc.

    These sites work perfectly well through the browser, so I use the browser.

    I'm all for apps though and have crap loads, but just the ones that are actual applications, not just frames for hosting web content.

    "Android tablet apps don’t belong in the same conversation as the iPad."

    Uhmm.. ok.. almost stopped reading right there.

    "As much hardware versatility as Android tablets offer "

    So it's the hardware that allows me to put any file (or delete any file) on my android device? Really? Android is all about the hardware? That's news to me..

    "College Humor looks like a mobile website on Android and a full-fledged experience on iPad."

    Because of the device? or because of the developers?

    Ok.. this author, just like Mat Honan and Jesus Diaz is on my ignore list.

    Apple two products in market, Android 100s of products in the market which means too much work for the developer

    “College Humor looks like a mobile website on Android and a full-fledged experience on iPad.”
    Pity this is actually a fault with the website recognition of header information.
    hell with the right add ons you can make your tablet render like an ipad, iphone or just plain desktop.
    Don't be hating the device because the site or the user doesn't know the product you are using.

    as they say "Apple , it works" but I like to tinker

    As an Android early adopter (tablet and phone), and a recent iPad 3 purchaser, I have found that the average quality of apps on both is highly variable.
    The big big advantage that Android gives the end user and the application developer is freedom to innovate. The iOS closed farmyard limits a lot of functionality and tweakability that comes standard with Android. Try, for example to find an equivalent for Tasker, or alternative keyboards like Swype.

    As a user of Android I often find myself going to one of the many browers which support flash for viewing the majority of the content (in desktop format) which im interested in. Perhaps the reason why there is more emphasis on iPad apps is because of the crappy browser and lack of flash support.
    Ill always prefer viewing a website over downloading an app which may / may not be supported in the future.

    Why is that Android fanatics are completely incapable of accepting criticism of their beloved OS, when they are so good at dishing it out to Apple at any opportunity?

    Could it actually be that the iPad is better at some things? And Android is better at others? Crazy idea I know, but just putting it out there..

    Most Android users I speak to are proud to announce they never paid for an app and it's one of their arguments for the platform and against iOS. Problem is developing takes time and effort. I'd focus more on developing something that generates me an income than working free. You often find the same app on both platforms for the usual dollar on iOS and free on Android.

    You get what you pay for. Always.

    Making apps for android is also much more complex than developing for iOS. Android's set up is a mess of unconnected leads. For fear of being branded an Apple fanboy, I will say this, Apple's development setup is sooo much cleaner and simpler. Makes development a breeze compared to android - that and the android OS is horribly unresponsive to user input.

    Why is this even a question? While 90% of tablets are ipads then 90% of investment will go to ipad software. I own an android tablet, buy would be stupid to not target my company at ipads.

    It's no mystery that Tablet apps are better on iOS because the iPad ones are tailored to only 2 sets of screen resolutions and are developed primarily for that hardware vs Android which have to cater to a whole slew of form factors and resolutions. Hence, the iPad gets more love. It's no secret, but I love my 7.7 as much as my iPad 3.

    Steve Jobs is Dead.

    Will we ever get Ice Cream Sandwich for our HTC Desire Z? :(

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