Why so few apps for Android 3.0 Honeycomb?

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When it comes to the success of the iPad and how other tablets such as Android are unable to mount a decent challenge, it does not take a huge study to realize just what the issue is. No it is not the lack of hardware, as there are now more Android tablet releases; no it is due to the fact that there are so few apps being released for Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

We have to wonder why this is, as Google and partners HTC, Motorola and Samsung have done all they can to ensure that they have the hardware in place, as well as a decent mobile OS. So how come they overlook the most important feature, apps? You would have assumed that Google would have pushed developers to update applications on the Android Market so that they would be compatible.

The first Android tablet to support Honeycomb was the Motorola Xoom, and once that was released an influx of supported apps were expected to follow. However, Computer World seemed shocked that this did not happen, and that we still await more decent supported apps.

To give you an idea at just how bad this is, and how it could have a serious affect on the tablet market, the iPad now has 100,000 apps that are supported, and that list just keeps getting bigger. The release of more Android 3.0 Honeycomb is almost non-existent.

One of the main reasons is how Honeycomb has been designed to work with larger displays. Now developers know that they can get around this issue, but they say that it will take too much investment, something that would eat into their profit margins and not make it worth their while in the first place.

Now there are some apps out there that do not take much updating to support the new OS, but others which use both graphics and text seem to struggle, as the developers cannot find a common ground to get both to work.

We had assumed that the Xoom would have been the best selling tablet, but the lack of supported apps has to be playing its part in poor sales, as the Asus Eee Pad Transformer has sold more units. Do not get too excited, as the figure is just 100,000 since launch back on March 30th. Now not to go into too much detail, we expect that the iPad 2 sold more units than that on its first date of release. Android developers and Google had better get their act together soon, as they currently have no hope of repeating the success on the tablet market as they have on the smartphone market.

Also See: List of Android L supported devices, though not confirmed

  • Todd Hyle

    I agree. I bought the Zoom less than a week ago at Walmart and it’s going back in the next few days. The reason? I already have an iPad and the Zoom simply doesn’t have enough applications to justify keeping the device. I am not going to invest in a device and keep my fingers crossed the apps will follow.

  • Dasher

    There’s many parts to the puzzle – while Honeycomb has been released many of the early devices are still running 3.0.1.  As you know – the early devices are the ones often purchased by Devs.  There’s no indication of when Samsung/Vodafone will release a 3.1 update for the Samsung 10.1v.  Now that Vodafone have dropped the 10.1v in favour of the standard 10.1 – and the lack of communication by either party about who will provide updates gives it an uncertain future.  
    Note – the 10.1v doesn ‘t come with the Samsung apps (incl. the Samsung account login needed for updates to the device).
    If you take a look at the Samsung apps (media hub, apps, etc) – there’s little or no mention of any 10.1 support.  If the device manufacturers don’t even provide apps for the device – it’s hard to blame other devs for being sluggish with support.I mention the 3.1 update a lot – because it brings a bunch of changes – with the Android tablet essentially being a new platform to support – devs & business owners prefer to keep the target SDK platform simple – at least to start with.

  • Anonymous

    This is becoming my biggest regret.  I just bought a Xoom (4 days ago) and really like the device.  And the battery life is awesome when you tell it to disable wifi @ screen off!

    But where the hell are all the apps!  This device and now several with mostly identical specs inside are languishing with apps that were not designed to utilize their screen real estate.  I am starting to regret not getting the iPad!

    Come on Google, you guys need to create some kind of migration tool.  Ideally some small piece of software that will look at those APK files and show the developer what needs to be adjusted.  Otherwise, your TABLET EXPERIMENT will be for nothing!

  • Anonymous

    This is becoming my biggest regret.  I just bought a Xoom (4 days ago) and really like the device.  And the battery life is awesome when you tell it to disable wifi @ screen off!

    But where the hell are all the apps!  This device and now several with mostly identical specs inside are languishing with apps that were not designed to utilize their screen real estate.  I am starting to regret not getting the iPad!

    Come on Google, you guys need to create some kind of migration tool.  Ideally some small piece of software that will look at those APK files and show the developer what needs to be adjusted.  Otherwise, your TABLET EXPERIMENT will be for nothing!