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Half of top iPad apps either unavailable or not optimized on Android, says Canalys

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Posted by Tsepz_GP

New Canalys' App Interrogator research highlights one of the deficiencies of the Android ecosystem: limited availability of high-quality, tablet-optimized apps in the Google Play store. Of the top-50 paid and free iPad apps in Apple's US App Store, based on aggregated daily rankings in the first half of 2013, 30% were absent from Google Play. A further 18% were available, but not optimized for tablet users, offering no more than a smartphone app blown up to the size of a tablet screen.

Just 52% of apps had Android versions both available through Google Play and optimized (if only a little) for tablet use. "Quite simply, building high-quality app experiences for Android tablets has not been among many developers' top priorities to date," said Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd. "That there are over 375,000 apps in the Apple App Store that are designed with iPad users in mind, versus just a fraction of this - in the low tens of thousands - available through Google Play, underscores this point."

Canalys expects this to change as the addressable base of devices continues to soar and Google brings improvements to the Play store, but points out that Google needs to do more to encourage greater numbers of developers to invest in delivering high-quality Android tablet apps quickly, or else it risks disappointing consumers with weak app experiences in the short term.

The 52% of top apps available through Google Play and optimized for tablets also includes six titles that appear as top paid titles on iOS, but are only available as free, ad-supported versions on Android. "While nominally free, set against a paid version of the app, ad-supported offerings typically deliver a poorer and often more limited user experience, sometimes taking a considerable toll on device battery life and often subjecting users to unskippable videos or other unpopular intrusions," said Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte.

It is important that Google wins consumers' trust and encourages them to register credit cards and billing details, so that the barrier to them spending money on apps - and other content - is reduced at the point of purchase. "Improved consumer willingness to spend will increase developers' monetization potential and options, and help to reduce their reliance on in-app ads, leading over time to an increase in app quality," said Matte.

It will also make the Android tablet opportunity more enticing for developers and increase the revenue potential of the Play store and ecosystem for Google. "To take the Play ecosystem to the next level, Google needs more than just a large addressable base of devices. App developers need to see clear potential to build robust and sustainable business models around apps built for the platform, so increasing monetization potential must be a priority," said Shepherd. "And for tablet apps in particular, Google should go further with changes to the Play store to ensure more rigorously managed, high-quality, optimized experiences are highlighted, to the benefit of consumers, and to reward those developers who invest the time and resources in building them with improved discoverability."


Posted by Away
Everyone knows that iPads have more tablet-optimised apps, but some of this is misleading. So what if many of the most popular tablet apps on iOS aren't available for android tablets? I remember reading an article about how on each most downloaded apps list on iOS and android, very few, maybe 20% feature on each other's lists.

It's not a problem. Android over iOS for me any day, even for tablets. I mean, have you seen the tablet Z? Now if only I could think of a use for a tablet...

Posted by Tsepz_GP
I don't know if you've owned an Android tablet, but the state of Play Store for anything larger than 7inch is quite poor, it actually explains why Amazon decided to fork Android and create their own layer and App Store over it for the Kindle tablets, I think Barnes&Noble tried the same? Although they failed horribly. The point being, considering how long we've had Android tablets, the Play Store should be offering far more tablet optimized apps. As someone who owns both a Galaxy Tab10.1v (it came with Stock Android) and iPad4, it's like day and night.

I can't find many if any local apps, and many of my favorite Smartphone apps are not well optimized for Android tablets, it's just a lousy state of affairs, it's as if developers are ignoring Android tablets and simply focusing on iPad, this actually pissed me off so much at times as some apps would be left half baked as the devs made a so-so version for Android and focused more resources on iOS, trying to find a good quality Twitter app for example was a nightmare, official twitter app itself is a slightly tweaked Smartphone version. I actually haven't used my Android tablet in months now since getting my iPad, maybe I'll boot it up tomorrow and do some exploring again.

On the other hand iOS is being worshipped by devs, you even have Bloomberg and CNN advertising their apps for iPad which are so beautifully made, then there's the local apps from books, newspapers, market trader apps, banking apps etc... I feel like Android is being left out, I haven't owned a Windows tablet so I'm not sure if they are having similar issues.

Personally, I use my iPad to read eBooks, browse the web, watch movies, edit uni assignments in class, take notes, read local newspaper and also read some local car magazines, all looks great on the retina display, far better than printed versions.

Posted by Away
All fair points. Now if only you were like this when it came to the Sony and Samsung threads and processors on the comments section on phonearena (I won't reveal my account name there).

Posted by Tsepz_GP
Yes, that would be rather errrmm, Insignificant, as I've known it for a long time.

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