Google and Samsung made a bold statement with the new Nexus 10 tablet. It has a higher screen resolution and a lower price than the new iPad, but the Android tablet isn't just aimed at impressing customers. Google needs to woo some developers along the way.
One factor that currently holds Android's tablet market back is the lack of apps developed specifically for larger devices. Google believes that the Nexus 7 has already sparked interest in developers to produce separate versions of their apps, though the Nexus 7 isn't all that much larger than some of the phablets we currently see on the market.
It's the Nexus 10 that could truly be the game changer. With a screen resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 (300 pixels per inch!), the Nexus 10 even outranks the iPad for resolution quality. Apps designed for the phone simply can't capitalize on that much screen real estate.
Highlighting the Best Apps for Tablets
Google already highlights the best apps for tablets today. (If you have a tablet and haven't tried these suggestions, make sure you try them to see how much of a difference proper formatting can make.)
The question is, how will Google expand this "best-of" list? The Google Play store proudly points to its 700,000 apps, but there is no mention as to how many of those apps are geared toward tablets. Apple, on the other hand, pushes the fact that they have 275,000 apps designed for the iPad.
Despite the fact that a "best-of" list exists for Android tablet apps, the list isn't a prominent feature in the Google Play store. I do see "recommended apps" for my devices on occasion, but there isn't a clearly defined section of the store where consumers can simply look through all the tablet app offerings.
Currently, the big draw for iPad app developers is the fact that consumers have embraced the platform. Android tablets and Microsoft Surface tablets are both in the position of trying to yank that attention away from Apple, but neither can rival Apple's user base as of yet.
Chris Yerga, director of engineering for Google Play, pointed out that developers have the ability in Android to create one app that will respond to the size of the device (similar to responsive web design). Instead of having to potentially create multiple versions of the same app, developers can just create a flexible one.
Are developers aware of this fact? Not accoring to Avi Greengart, writer for Current Analysis. "Google needs to better highlight the ability in its (software development kit) to create different user interfaces for different screen sizes within a single app."
Google has been promoting success stories for tablet apps. Personal finance app Mint, mobile game Tiny Village, and reading app Instapaper have all seen significant numbers specifically because of tablet users.
Would Samsung be willing to jump in to help Google promote the new potential of tablet apps? Maybe. The company has helped encourage app development in other devices like TVs and refrigerators, and Samsung has plenty enough stake in the tablet market.
However it happens, Google needs app developers who are ready to show off the full quality of its Nexus devices.