The “limited availability of high-quality, tablet optimised apps” in the Google Play store highlights one of the deficiencies of the Android ecosystem, analyst firm Canalys said, arguing that “Google needs to do more to encourage greater numbers of developers to invest in delivering high-quality Android tablet apps quickly, else it risks disappointing consumers with weak app experiences in the short term”.
According to the company, of the top 50 paid and free iPad apps in the US, 30 per cent were absent from Google Play, with an additional 18 per cent available, but not optimised for tablets, “offering no more than a smartphone app blown up to the size of a tablet screen”.
This means that only 52 per cent of top titles had Android versions available, with Tim Shepherd, senior analyst for the company, noting: “Quite simply, building high-quality app experiences for Android tablets has not been among many developers’ top priorities to date.”
“For tablet apps in particular, Google should go further with changes to the Play store to ensure more rigorously managed, high-quality, optimised experiences are highlighted, to the benefit of consumers, and to reward those developers who invest the time and resources in building them with improved discoverability,” he continued.
Canalys also said that it is important that Google wins consumer trust and encourages them to register credit cards and billing details, so that the barriers to spending money on apps and other content is reduced.
Despite the growth in popularity of in-app purchases, Canalys was negative on this monetisation method, claiming that “ad-supported offerings typically deliver a poorer and more limited user experience, sometimes taking a considerable toll on device battery life and often subjecting users to unskippable videos or other unpopular intrusions”.