Samsung Galaxy Tab: Issues With Android Apps

By Peter Chubb - Sep 19, 2010

Samsung are on to a good thing at the moment and seems to have taken Google Android Mobile OS by storm, not only with the S smartphone range – but their new tablet device as well. However, it is the latter that is cause for concern, as there are fears that Android apps could actually look ugly on the tablet device.

Matt Hamblen from Computerworld thought that this comment from a Google executive needed looking into to understand what was meant and why it was said. Hamblen does point out that it is not just Google who believes that these Android applications will look ugly, a number of analysts have also come up with the same conclusion.

The reason for this is simple, Froyo was intended for a smaller screen, so had to be stretched for the 7-inch screen on the Galaxy Tab – much the same as some apps have been stretched for the iPad. Those who have the iPad will know that some applications were intended for the iPhone, so will know just how distorted they look when ported over to the iPad.

However, ugly apps are a small price to pay for such a nice device, and let us not forget that updates will not take long before they are developed to utilize the larger screen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

We already know that the Galaxy Tab will be made available on most major U.S. carriers, some had hoped that Sprint would offer 4G speeds – but this will not be the case. Alan Ng recently asked if this mattered, and if it would affect you purchasing the Samsung tablet device on sprint?

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  • Forrest

    I am not going to make same mistake as my samsung captivate, which was bought when it was just launched in US. Samsung captivate is very buggy and samsung is very insensitive to the problem. Until it is proven there are no major bugs, I will not buy one.

  • superlinkx

    Yeah, UI elements in Android are completely different from iOS. They were meant to easily scale between various screen shapes and sizes. Most won't be a problem, if the developers made their apps compatible with multiple screen sizes already (which isn't terribly hard to do). Really, it will mostly be games that will need to be made to support the larger screen, but it always helps to redevelop a game for each graphics chipset anyway to get the most out of the graphics, so this shouldn't be a huge problem. There have already been emulator screenshots using the Galaxy Tab as the emulator target, and a bunch of normal apps looked great, without any tweaking at all. Plus, for the apps that don't scale, they can be run in a standard resolution, like you can do on the iPad. I think people will find apps work better between screen sizes on Android than they do on the iPhone/iPad/iPod.

  • larry

    I fail to see what it would be so ugly about them. Samsung already stated that apps that are screen aware will work fine and take advantage of the large screen of the Tab. And those that are not will be centered on the screen and use only 854×480 pixels (just like most android phones) with a black border around them for the remaining pixels left. There will be no doubling of the pixels to fit the whole screen so both the app will be very clear and the aspect ratio correct. The aspect ration of both the Galaxy Tab's at 1024×600 and the Galaxy S phone at 854×480 both have a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. So yes, some apps will only use a portion of the Galaxy Tab's 7" real estate, but even those it will only be just a matter of time before updated versions are released. Already Google has posted sample code for developers to make their apps tab and different resolution friendly. IMO, people are making this a bigger issue than it is. For me it is not an issue as all apps will work.

    • readaman

      Amen… journalists need something to write