Android tablets and why they aren’t good enough…

Ok, I’m not posting this a giant troll post to get all you Android fans up in arms, honest…..

With that in mind, let me explain what I own and use so you can see I’m not anti Android. Currently own a Nexus one, owned from release, just about to upgrade to a LG2X, also currently own an Advent Vega Tablet, Previously owned Samsung Galaxy 2, HTC Hero and have had/still have access to two San Franciscos (Zte Blades) All have been rooted/rommed…. So, certifiable Android fan!

So, I’ve had my Vega a little time now and and my initial impressions are, yeah, it’s great and nicer to use than the phone purely because of that larger screen. Leaving aside any hardware differences with other tablets ( They are in essence all the same…) I’d say it’s a fair device to base opinions on. Clearly it doesn’t have Honeycomb so I can’t comment on this aspect.

My issue and the subject of this post is apps, plain and simple.

The only benchmark for any tablet is the ipad, now without getting into the iphone is better than Android thing I have to compare to the ipad, and that my friends is the problem!

There are no decent apps for Android yet!

By decent I mean ‘optimised for tablets’…….

Anyone who has used an ipad ( See Leighs video here ) will know that there are some very nice,slick apps that utilise the extra screen size you have, nothing really exists for Android yet, yes there are apps and games that work just fine and look great (Angry birds,Air attack HD…..), but the flip side is there are quite a few phone apps that haven’t even been updated to work on a tablet, so you get a stupid little screen about 4″ across as if it’s on a phone! these aren’t even apps that would require much work, simple news  sites with mostly text for example.

Some of my friends on twitter have recently bought ipads, partially due to frustration at the lack of Android tablets out and I thought they were wrong, thing is, I don’t think they were, like for like the ipad wins hands down due purely on the lack of apps support for android….

….For now.

Now here is the thing, this WILL change, very very quickly, I’d suggest by Christmas this post will be almost laughable to look back on. My reason for thinking this? Look back only 18 months ago, the Nexus one wasn’t even out,android os was still on 1.6 Donut – seems like a lot longer than 18 months doesn’t it?! Android has grown to world dominating levels in that time – see Here – all those phone owners will most likely be considering a tablet, so the basic market is already in place and we are finally seeing Android tablets for sale, this is now changing weekly.

Trust me on this, the last six months of this year,especially Christmas, will see a frankly bonkers rise in the sales of Android tablets, all the main players will have at least a couple of different tabs out, as well as some lesser, budget (*)  manufacturers options ( like the excellent Asus Eee Pad ), as a result the daft pricing will stop due to competition – sub £400 Tablets will be common, meaning a bewildering choice  in Q4 2011.

All this will drive the Apps developers to optimise for tablets. I have seen just within my little Android world a change, in the last couple of weeks about 4 people have got tablets,suddenly the talk is of what apps to use and what are nice on a tablet, if that reaction to getting a tablet is reflected worldwide ( and it will…) then the apps developers will have to react, and react quickly to the massively increasing Android tablet market.

So, feeling left out because you don’t yet have a tablet? Don’t worry, if you can hold onto your cash you’ll have a better choice and better apps to use the longer you wait. Of course, you could do what I’m doing and get a cheaper Tablet for now and upgrade in the January sales!


What do you think? Am I right or just got Friday fever?!

* : Budget mean cheaper price, not necessarily quality.(Thanks @le3ky)

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  • Chris.

    You can’t base a tablet being better just on apps. Connectivity and functional wise the iPad is not any better, in some respects not as good as Android tabs.

    • Stuart Mcgregor

      I quite agree,that is one of my main issues with ios, but the lack of apps currently makes, For me anyway, the android tablets currently second best.
      See my earlier post about why tablets are still lacking in other ways (although this will change I’m sure)

  • ItemSize

    Android tablets and iPads will always fight, and they have wins and losses on both sides, so it mostly comes down to personal taste and preference, like most things in life. There is, however, one way in which an Android tablet blatantly shames the iPad/iPad2. How many form factors of iPad are there? I’ll tell you. 2. iPad or iPad2. How many form factors of Android tablets are there? I haven’t got a clue – there are that many.

    Freedom of choice is what attracts intelligent people who want to make an informed decision. Anyone who is afraid of technology choices will always go for Apple. This is a pure fact and is indisputable.

  • Martin

    Stuart, How is the Vega for watching movies and Tv episodes on? Does it play MKVs?



    • Stuart Mcgregor

      I honestly can’t say,I don’t watch movies on it. My thought is that the screen is not really good enough for movies etc, the viewing angle is very limited. It’s perfectly OK, you just have to keep the device very square to you out the picture washes out.

  • Not sure if I totally agree. May have to pen my own response!

  • Craig

    Whilst I agree the lack of apps for Android Tablet devices running Honeycomb currently is an issue, I still don’t think that it makes the Xoom for instance, a spent force. Whilst it’s a little rough around the edges, the Xoom has a lot of use with the built in Applications/Widgets which ARE optimised for tablets. Although I concede the lack of development on that platform (largely pushed by Devs not wishing to risk testing solely on SDK) is hurting Xoom sales – almost as much as the lack of Marketing shown!