updated 11:30 am EDT, Fri September 10, 2010
Android 2.2 likely to break tablet interface
In spite of attempts to use it, Android 2.2 isn't a good fit for tablets, Google said late Thursday. Samsung's Galaxy Tab may use the current OS, but it's "not optimised for use on tablets," mobile product director Hugo Barra told TechRadar. It wasn't designed for the larger screen size, and many apps in the Android Market may break without knowing how to cope with the extra size, the manager said.
He nonetheless hinted strongly at the upcoming Honeycomb update to Android, noting that there will eventually be a way to get tablet-ready apps. "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," Barra explained.
Tablets using Android are shipping in large numbers starting this month, but most have had to make workarounds to use a larger screen effectively. Velocity Micro's Cruz tablets use the same resolution as a smartphone and, while larger, won't provide any advantage over the smaller devices. Samsung is using a 1024x600 resolution, but has also had to write new apps to use the size and may not support much beyond what comes with the slate.
Apple remade many of its own apps for the iPad, but it also built in backwards compatibility and the option of developing universal apps that can include tablet features without losing phone support. The safety net sped up the launch and helped the company get near complete control of the tablet market where many of its competitors have faced at least a half-year delay.