Android Honeycomb’s Going Gets Tough

Of late, Android developers are in a fix. It has been six months since the launch of the Android Honeycomb Tablet in the Market and it has not garnered a potential user base. The problem clearly lies in the dearth in apps optimized for the Android Tablets and analysts are of the view that an evident lack of these Honeycomb aka Android 3.0 Applications is what makes it a less chosen Tablet as opposed to the Apple’s iPad. But any new technology faces such non-acceptance in the beginning; the Honeycomb tablet also had its share of tough criticism and rejection from the global consumers with Apple being the dominant competitor today in the market. Android developers are trying their best to convince their consumers that the Android optimized apps will see a rise by the end of 2011 despite its sluggish start.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS released itself only with Motorola Xoom tablet in February,2011. Android 3.0 was an open source project steered by Google, flexible enough to run on many devices but Google wants it specifically targeted for Tablets and hence Google has kept the code under wraps from other device makers. In what may come as a surprise, Google boasts of its latest improved version of the OS with new upgrades, at first, it released Android 3.1 in May this year and Android 3.2 is exclusively rolled out for Tablets. Since the disparate screen layouts desperately needed a fix to clear up the mess the tablets came with, Android 3.2 has been a blessing with the arrival of 3.2, customizing apps from third party developers can be well taken care of.

Android’s Slow Start

Though the Android market is exploding fast, its user base is still taking time to understand the platform and make use of it. Hence, an extra push is essential for the App developers to develop more apps that are user-friendly to help them buy these tablets. The tablet makers are on their way to get their Hardware optimized for Google’s Honeycomb version of the Operating system for larger screens and plan to fix the issue soon enough. It would be a welcome change in the android community and encourage the app developers to code new apps or at least shift to optimizing previous apps for higher resolutions.

Zoom to View

A new interesting addition to the Android Honeycomb version is the Compatibility zoom, an icon or a button that will allow its users to switch between ‘Stretch to fill’ and ‘Zoom to fill’ options. Google says that this new compatibility mode does not resize the small application but it helps in emulating the app to the Tablet’s size. This might give a more pixelated layout and bigger pictures to suit the tablet screen size. Since tablet apps are designed with more screen resolution in mind, compatibility zoom is capable of delivering more detail and finer interfaces. But this is not essentially a solution to make up for the fewer available apps. Apart from the pixel count, it is also the process which counts. This may be a move to provide Honeycomb users greater access to Android market but certainly not a permanent solution. We hope Ice cream Sandwich, the upcoming OS from Google again may have a better answer.

Unknown Issues

Yes, there are issues which may pop up at a random stage. For instance, Android 3 products, especially these HC Tablets come with Honeycomb’s pre-installed applications on them. Will the custom made apps gain a place on the Tablet is an issue that needs to be resolved. Consumers anyway don’t want to hunt hard for apps. That way, Apple store has a huge advantage. And not to forget that the real crucial concerns are the pricing, sales channel and product differentiation issues around these Android tablet devices.