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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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  • seems simple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:06AM (#36650538) Journal

    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.

    Seems simple to me. I went to Best Buy this weekend, and the number of competing, often incompatible tablets, is enough to drive someone to give up and just buy an iPad. Not only the Xoom and the Galaxy tab, but also HP's latest webOS tab, and Blackberry's Playbook, and a number of other random ones. It was hard to figure out (especially standing in the store) what the differences were. I can easily see why someone would go for the iPad after seeing all that, since it has some name recognition.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:27AM (#36650598)

    This seems like the worlds longest circular argument. The iPad had similar problems when it was released, but people bought it despite not knowing what the killer app was and because people bought it developers developed for it.

    There are no Honeycomb apps, because there is a lack of Honeycomb tablets in the market. I don't know a single person with one, yet every second friend has an iPad regardless if they have a iPhone or an Android phone.

    People aren't buying the tablets because reviews are negative usually always on account of a lack of apps for it.

    And round we go again.

  • Re:seems simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moronoxyd (1000371) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:55AM (#36650664)

    That's a strange argument.
    The market for smartphones is fragmented, yet most people don't seem to have a problem deciding which one to buy.

    Fragmantation may be a problem from the technical perspective of a developer, but for consumers it means that they have a lot of choices, which is a good thing.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:58AM (#36650670)

    How many of us are holding off getting a tablet until we can easily bypass Android (of any flavour) and just load whatever distribution we want?

    Hundreds, maybe even somewhere in the low thousands. And this is exactly the sort of reason there are so few Honeycomb apps: there's just not that much demand for Android tablets.

    On the tablet, Android has to compete on a level playing field with the iPad. People don't particularly want Android. They don't particularly *like* Android. Not on the whole. But people *do* want iPads.

    On the phone, the situation is pretty much the same, except that there are external factors involved. Specifically, carrier choice, service plans, and subsidies. Also, pretty much everyone is getting a phone, while not everyone is getting a tablet. These combine to give Android an artificial boost in apparent demand. I say "apparent demand", because the sales of Android phones don't really show the demand for Android specifically.

    Have you ever wondered why there are no Android music players? Google places some limits on them, but as you are all so quick to point out, *anyone* can just take Android (pre 3.0, which is not suited for small screens anyway) and make their own version. If consumers actually *did* want Android, surely there'd be some demand, right?

    But there isn't. And that's all right.

    This brings up something the stereotypical slashdot Android nerd should come to understand. It's sage advice from your hated icon of evil, Steve Jobs. Paraphrased, you need to get over this notion that for Android to win, Apple/iOS has to lose. Android, like Linux, isn't terribly well designed for general consumption. Its strengths are very geek-centric. You should be happy that Android has found a viable market from which to offer hardware and software that meets your wishes. Macs don't have the market share MS has in the PC market, but they are more than strong enough to stick around providing me with the sort of computer I want. In the end, that's all that matters, right?

    So, maybe if you guys come to accept that, you won't be stuck with this distorted view of Android, and you'll be happy with it how it really is, and not scratch your heads wondering why it's not something it will never be. Just like me (and tens of millions of others) with Macs, or you guys, with hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of Linux PCs, or even the hundred million Android phones and hundreds of thousands (again, *maybe* millions) of Android tablets, you can realize that what you have is pretty damned good for you, right now as it currently is.

    Isn't that good enough? Isn't that what you really want? A toy, a geek toy, to play around with? You can call it a tool if you'd prefer, but if you're going to call an iPad a toy, at least be consistent about it.

  • by caywen (942955) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:05AM (#36650692)

    I went to Best Buy and on display were the Xoom, the new Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the iPad 2.

    Scrolling around, web browsing, and other things, the 2 android tabs were choppy. iPad was smooth as silk.

    Looking at the shell, the 2 android tabs have a lot going on. That's confusing. iPad is just a bunch of icons, but I get it.

    The iPad 2 was way nicer to hold than the Xoom, though the Galaxy was, IMO, the iPad's equal in this regard.

    Overall, the iPad 2 just feels like a refined device, and the Android tabs feel like, well, a Microsoft solution.

    iPad 2 wins, and therefore gets the developers.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:32AM (#36650776) Homepage

    Have you ever wondered why there are no Android music players? Google places some limits on them, but as you are all so quick to point out, *anyone* can just take Android (pre 3.0, which is not suited for small screens anyway) and make their own version. If consumers actually *did* want Android, surely there'd be some demand, right?

    It's not 'some limits', it restricts access to the Market. Of course nobody wants Android if they have no apps to run on it. How many would want iOS without the App Store?

  • by gmon750 (1216394) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:49AM (#36650814)

    Yes. You're right. The millions upon millions of iPad users all over the world are all Apple fanboys with no capabilities of thinking in an individual capacity. The iPad is a failure just waiting to happen and netbooks will still come back and take over.

    You keep telling yourself that. Please. Run with it.

    When iPads came out, they created a new (or reinvigorated and old and dead) market. There was uncertainty in its capabilities outside of iHaters calling it an "oversized iPod Touch". Now, two years later the iPad has had a large penetration in vertical markets where before there were none for a tablet. Back then, perhaps it was correct to say that it is not meant to replace laptops or netbooks. Now though is a different story. I lost track of how many friends and colleagues that were looking for a new home computer or a laptop decided to buy an iPad instead. There is a huge, huge market for people that don't need the capabilities of a laptop/desktop PC and all the headaches that go with keeping one running. Tech-heads, geeks, and nerds hate that idea as Apple's model pretty much obliterates their definition of what computing should be like. I say it's about damn time. We've had decades of what was essentially garbage PC's devoid of any user-friendliness for the Joe-consumer. I think it's great that Apple saw how the PC-folks were screwing everything up and decided to make "computers" that hides the computer part from the user and just let's them use it like a toaster. Good for them.

    It's the haters that try to convince everyone until they're blue in the face that the only "real" tablet is one that can be rooted. I can tell you right now that that kind of logic guarantees you'll lose 99% of your potential consumer base.

  • Re:No need (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, 2011 @08:57AM (#36651600)

    The iPad is partly so popular because it doesn't simply scale up a GUI, it often displays an entirely new GUI to the user. One that is more suitable to the larger screen of the tablet. It's a fairly fundamental design issue. If you don't understand that, perhaps you should stick to developing smartphones?

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