It took Google a whole year to come up with an answer to Apple’s iPad, but when they did, it was rushed into the market half-baked. The features were incomplete and the system was full of bugs. Did you know that when the tablet was released, the developers did not intend it for third-party applications. At first, phone applications were supposed to be installable on the tablets but device manufacturers, the hardware companies, proved that tablets could have far much higher capabilities than android phones. There are still some issues that Google should look at, here are three that I think are the most serious.
1. Redesign the User Interface
The interface on Android for mobile phones has never looked great on tablets. Honeycomb improved it but it remained ugly, very buggy and slow. ICS may have improved its performance bit Google needs to get back to the drawing board and come up with a new interface specially developed for the 7 or 10 inch tablets and suitable for the powerful Android tables. What the tablets need is a functional and practical user interface – like that of Microsoft and Apple tablets – easy, fast, dynamic and very practical.
For Google to become a more formidable competitor in the smartphone market, it needs to take on Microsoft Windows on desktop applications. Larry Page recently said that Android tablets will get more functionality in the coming months and years and sure enough, their power and performance is at par with most desktop that people still use at home and in offices. The tablets will add the benefit of portability, ease of use and affordability but unless the users will find applications that do the same tasks that they accomplish on their desktops, then the tablets will not really be a serious competition to desktop computers and laptops.
3. Motivate developers
The iPad opened the gate of serious tablets but although it dominates the market, one of its major shortcoming is the issue of applications. As of now, the growth rate of Android tablets is three times the rate of Apple’s iPad and applications are more responsible than anything else. A friend of mine commented that you can find almost any application that runs on android – from word processors to metal detectors. The problem is that developers are not really being rewarded as well as they should and unless Google addresses this issue, even Microsoft Tablets may come to beat them in the tablet market. The Playstore is an amazing feature and place to get applications but they must optimize the devices and operating systems such that developers will not need to test applications on every device on the market. Standardization of the system – both hardware and software – is what Google must address first.
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