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Google says Android is not yet optimized for tablets

A lot of people are excited with the rise of tablets. There are plenty of them popping around every week or so wanting to get a piece of the market from the iPad. Some tablets are running on Windows 7 but most prefer Google’s Android as OS of choice. Who wouldn’t? It’s open source and it is second to Apple’s app store in terms of number of apps available.

Google warns us though that the Android, in it’s current state, is not made for the tablet. The Android Market for instance won’t function properly on tablets using Froyo (2.2).

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“Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it’s already running on tablets,” said Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google.

“Which devices do, and which don’t will be unit specific, but Froyo is not optimised for use on tablets. If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn’t run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor. We want to make sure that we’re going to create a application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have right experience.”

Android 2.2 supports up to 854 x 480 resolution which can pose problems for iPad-sized tablets. But Android 3.0 can support up to 1280 x 760.

In my opinion, Android OS on its current state is fine provided that manufacturers create a whole lot of UI customization to maximize the tablet’s display. The iPad can’t do widgets like the Android. I personally would like to see an HTC Sense UI that’s made for the tablet. As for apps, don’t expect a lot at all unless you want your apps stretched to fit the tablet’s screen resolution. Just like in the iPad, app developers need to create different versions to handle bigger display.

The rise of Android tablets is exciting alright but better wait for the second wave. I don’t believe the first ones can topple the mighty iPad.

[via TechRadar UK]
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  • <quote>
    In my opinion, Android OS on its current state is fine provided that manufacturers create a whole lot of UI customization to maximize the tablet’s display.
    </quote>

    Beg to differ, sir, although it’s a conditional disagreement. You know how a number of new smartphones still come out with Android 1.x, with no clear commitment to Froyo? That’s because precisely of the custom UIs, e.g., HTC’s Sense or Motorola’s Blur (or izzat Motoblur? — whatever ). Now, I don’t know if it was poor software design or poor coding, but in either case, the UI is apparently so tied down to the Android version, and possibly the hardware, that it’s hard to rewrite for a higher Android version.

    OTOH, if the cell phone and Tablet manufacturers can write a custom UI and design and code it so upgrading Android is easy, I’ll say, go for it.

    • Nice point. But I for one know that phone manufacturers who have a market here knows that smartphone-people wants the latest Android OS on their phone. I know only SE and LG released news phones running on Donut but they are committed in releasing an upgrade within the year.

      On manufacturers coding their own UI in such a way that upgrading Android is easy. I think HTC’s onto that. It’s not that quick for them to come up with the upgrade but upgrading is very easy. Take the example of the HTC Desire. Their over the air upgrade makes it easy for people to update to Froyo. Unlike other phone manufacturers that require you to visit service centers just to upgrade the firmware or OS.

      good points though. thanks for pointing them out.