Will the Nexus 7 indirectly improve Android Tablet Apps?


via cdn0.sbnation.com

I am beginning to think that Google is playing an indirect game when it comes to improving the quality of tablet apps on Android. Just consider that the Nexus 7 being poised as a mass market device will put Stock android in the hands of millions of users, and that in conjunction with high end tablets, may be able to finally tip the scales for developers to put more effort into giving their apps a better tablet experience.

All android apps need to do is to make their layouts change based on resolution, and many developers have. But maybe the Nexus 7 will prove to be a catalyst for ensuring that the tablet experience for their app isn't as much of an afterthought. Today I saw many mainstream news programs talking about the Nexus 7 as google's "entry" into the tablet market. It goes to show that the mainstream population has not really given android tablets much consideration before this (apart from the Kindle Fire), and that now Google has provided something worthy of their attention.

However, one thing I find a bit disconcerting is that the tablet appears to not take a page from existing tablets but rather emulating the way phones handle the UI. Case in point being that the dock and software key bar at the bottom is more Galaxy Nexus than Galaxy Tab. Is this because Google views the 7 inch form factor as more closely related to a phone-like experience? It seems to assert a portrait mode where as the current landscape of tablets gravitates to well... landscape. I just wonder will the choice to use the phone's ICS UI and not the tablet's will have some effect on the developers when optimizing for larger screens.

What I want to suggest is that the success of the device, a stock android device, may help the burgeoning tablet app selection of the Play store, by providing a device that is mass market and reference device all in one.


It turns out Jelly Bean reverts to a traditional ICS tablet style layout when on a larger screen. It just appears that Google decided that 7" screens are more useful with the phone UI than the tablet one, and since its poised to be used as a reader and media consumption device, the forced portrait phone UI makes sense.