First, admit tablets and phones need different UI. That *should* be a no-brainer. Also – interesting points on how Apple is locking in their developers. Good read.
Reshared post from +Robert Scoble
Why isn’t Android doing as well as Samsung wants in the tablet market? Those words aren’t mine, they are directly from Samsung’s CEO: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-57385739-78/samsung-were-not-doing-very-well-in-the-tablet-market/
For me it comes all down to apps. Today(the guy who runs Android at Google) was quoted in (now my favorite tech gadget blog) as saying that Google will “double down” but that led him to say this:
Of course, one of Android’s biggest challenges in the tablet market is the lack of high-quality apps designed for the larger screen, but Rubin was somewhat dismissive of those concerns. “Android’s unique in that it’s a single platform that spans device types,” including tablets and TVs, Rubin told me. “Fundamentally you shouldn’t have to have a third-party developer build his app twice.” Pushed about the different interface requirements for tablet apps versus phone apps, Rubin admitted that “there has to be an education process and developers have to do the work” of making their apps tablet-aware on Android. “They’re already doing that work for other platforms.”
I totally disagree. After talking with developers who make the best iPad apps, like Inkling (textbooks), Flipboard (news reader), to 955 Dreams (interactive books and apps) it’s very clear to me that the iPad NEEDS different apps than phones have. THe apps need to be laid out totally different, and, indeed, need to have different usage models altogether. Flipboard, for instance, came to the realization that while you can flip pages horizontally on the iPad you need to flip them vertically on the phone. This is NOT something that can just be “coded in.” The two need different customer development, different UI developers, and different code bases.
Even the NPR or BBC apps are totally different from phone to iPads.
I’m seeing a widening gap between iPad and the rest of the market too in a new place: enterprises. Enterprises are going iPad almost exclusively for tablets. Just go and fly on a plane. All those business people flying around? I see only iPads for the most part. That should freak out the strategists from Google and Microsoft. That’s driving app development in a big way. The other weekend I had dinner with a digital strategist from a defense contractor. He said they are building their own iOS apps now because of revenue and efficiency (cost savings on things like inventory control, expenses, and media search). This is a freaking defense contractor, not some sexy new venture backed app company!
The world is flipping and it’s amazing to watch.
Google has done a horrid job evangelizing to app developers on tablets.
Apple, by the way, is doing a lot to lock in developers. What’s that?
Well, Apple doesn’t want its best developers to do both iOS and Android apps.
Today you can look at the Apple app store for just how they “encourage” app developers not to develop for other platforms. If you look at the “featured app store” on iTunes you’ll see Forkly, not Foodspotting. Forkly is only available on iTunes: https://forkly.com/
Forkly has a competitor,which has many many times the photos that Forkly has and I like it a lot better. One problem, though. Foodspotting is available on RIM, Windows Phone, and Android, in addition to iOS.
Now, how important is being featured? Well, Clear, an app that was featured two weeks ago, sold $360,000 worth of apps in its first week on the market in great deal due to being featured by Apple (Clear also is only available on iOS).
App developers tell me that being featured means HUGE downloads, bigger than any blogger hype can deliver.
App developers never go on the record about this, by the way. They are scared that if they are quoted in the press they will often receive fewer “featured” rewards than if they just stay quiet and work with Apple. Apple has a HUGE amount of leverage on developers here, because its users use more apps (Starbucks and eBay tell me that) and they buy more apps (just look at Clear’s results, does any other app store have a story to tell like that, no).
So, if I were Rubin, what would I do?
1. Admit that developers need to build DIFFERENT apps for tablets than for phones and stop trying to tell the market that all they need to do is “tweak” their apps. It’s just not true and will never lead to good apps for a 10-inch or 7-inch platform.
2. Build a developer evangelism system that can help developers build for the various screen sizes. Google IO is a good start, but are there teams in Berlin, London, Tel Aviv, New York, Seattle, Beijing, Bangalore, and San Francisco who meet regularly with developers and who are available to help? Do they help build the apps? (Microsoft has teams that do just that and it’s the only reason why there’s any apps at all for Windows Phone at the moment — Microsoft’s evangelism teams will try to take developers away from iOS and Android this year as it ships Windows 8).
3. Build tools that make it easy to build for both phones and tablets (lots of code can be reused in these apps and developers tell me Apple is ahead here too).
If you’re a developer, do you agree with me? Why or why not?
Samsung: ‘We’re not doing very well in the tablet market’
One Samsung executive gets brutally honest about his company’s performance in the tablet market, even while offering up some hope for its line of Galaxy Note mobile devices. Read this blog post by Rog…
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