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Android Operating Systems Software

Why Are There So Few Honeycomb Apps? 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the endangered-species dept.
Fudge Factor 3000 writes "PC World's Brent Rose investigates the reason behind the dearth of Honeycomb apps even though the OS was released in February with the release of the Xoom. One would have expected an explosion of Android tablet apps like that seen with the iPad but the Honeycomb-optimized apps remain in the low hundreds. The answer, it turns out, is not that simple. The main contributing factors appear to be the low demand for Honeycomb tablets and the difficulty in discovering Honeycomb-optimized apps in the Market. Hopefully, this will be rectified in the near future."
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Why Are There So Few Honeycomb Apps?

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  • by mjwx (966435) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:02AM (#36650688)
    I'm guessing no-one on this thread owns an Android tablet.

    There is not a shortage of Honeycomb applications. The vast majority of 2.x Applications will run on 3.0 with no trouble. Some of the UI's are not made for 10" screens but that does not make the applications difficult to use at all. The TFA is just trolling for page hits (it's ComputerWorld, did you expect anything different).

    Although I think Google does need to work on a resolution independent API for Android, the reported "dearth of applications" is vastly overblown for the reasons mentioned above. I've got a Honeycomb based Acer Iconia Tab and have got more applications on it then my HTC Desire Z (runs 2.3), but the ones I use most often are the inbuilt Google applications (Gmail, browser, Maps, Navigation) with the exception of flash (which absolutely flies but that's because it's connected to fast DSL via WiFi).

    Probably WYSE would be the most used application that is not from Google but the web browser on Honeycomb is good enough that it eliminates the need for a lot of applications..
  • Re:Rampant piracy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xugumad (39311) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:18AM (#36650726)

    Platform fragmentation from the hardware side isn't the huge issue it's made to be. Anyone who has developed desktop software shouldn't have a huge issue having to target a variety of devices! There are problems that you have to think about very small screens, as well as portrait/landscape display, but it's really not that bad IMHO.

    From the software side, on the other hand, it's a right pain. Honeycomb adds the concept of a "Fragment", which is a re-usable UI grouping, so on a tablet you might put three next to each other left to right, but on a phone you display each Fragment as a single screen by itself. However, as no phone runs Honeycomb, this is basically useless; you have to write a Fragment based UI to make effective use of a tablet, and an Activity (or whatever) based UI for phones, so you have two UI layers. Once Ice Cream Sandwich comes out and phones start having Fragments, that will start solving this.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday July 04, 2011 @05:44AM (#36651000) Journal

    You should understand that there is a difference between how iPhone apps look on iPad, and how Android 2.x apps look on Honeycomb. On iOS, the app is not resized to fit the screen - at best, you can bitmap-scale it 2x, which looks ugly as hell. On Android, the UI designed using standard layouts is dynamic and reflowable, and so it actually resizes to fit. You don't end up with 2x-sized buttons and text and so on. You might end up with a lot of unused space, though, but that depends on the app. Some look meh, but surprisingly many end up looking very good. Most file managers, for example.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday July 04, 2011 @09:07AM (#36651642) Homepage

    > Have you ever wondered why there are no Android music players?

    Lack of demand based on a bundled feature would be my first guess. If the built in stuff is adequate, why would most "consumer" type users bother with trying something else? The only time it ever occured to me to install an alternate media player on a PhoneOS device is when there was some sort of really big flaw with the default option.

    Android subjects you to less bullsh*t in some ways and has better default application behavior. It does things by default that require jailbreaking and hacks on an iPhone. The idea that there is no "consumer user" reason to buy an Android phone is just fanboy self-delusion.

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