The Google Play Store will make a series of changes next month designed to make tablet-optimized apps easier to find — and to prod developers into rebuilding their smartphone apps for larger screens. Starting November 21st, anyone browsing Google Play on a tablet will see only tablet-optimized apps on the store's list of bestsellers. And to encourage developers to build apps that look good on 7"- and 10"-inch tablets, Google will begin labeling any apps that don't meet its standards for tablets as "designed for phones."
Google says more than 70 million Android tablets have been activated, but developers have been slow to build apps that take advantage of the larger screens. Twitter finally released a version for Android tablets last week, but made it a Samsung exclusive. It wasn't until earlier this year that Google even added a "designed for tablets" section to its store. The company says that thousands of apps meet its tablet criteria, but the majority of Android apps still do not. Tweaking Google Play to highlight tablet apps won't change that overnight, but it's a start.