With the introduction of more Android-powered devices, like the recently released Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy III, one thing that’s expected is a proliferation of new Android applications. To help meet the need and to ensure the quality of the new apps across the multitude of devices, Google released a checklist designed to help you build a better tablet apps, instead of generic ones.
This checklist covers some of the most important things that any app needs to know and that it meets the expectations of tablet users with compelling features and what Google says is an intuitive user interface. Here’s what developers need to be aware of:
- Test for core app quality
- Optimize your layouts
- User the extra screen area
- Use assets designed for tablets
- Adjust fonts and touch targets
- Adjust homescreen widgets
- Offer the app’s full feature set
- Don’t require hardware features
- Declare tablet screen support
- Follow best practices for publishing in Google Play
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As more services start to develop apps or even convert applications from iOS to Android, Google looks to perhaps wanting developers to create a bit of a standard within it’s ecosystem. They even cite Mint.com, Tiny Co, and Instapaper as three distinct apps that have built a more successful service by developing a more efficient mobile app.
Google’s traditional philosophy to mobile app development had been to “build once, ship everywhere”, but with these new list of things to consider, it looks like that philosophy has changed. And with the success of the Nexus 7 and the criticism its tablet apps have received, the search engine giant hopes that this checklist will help improve its image when it comes to building apps explicitly for tablets. Just read what Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said about the Yelp app on the Samsung tablet:
Look at Yelp. Lots of white space. Tiny text, hard to read. Compare that to the iPad. This is a reason that momentum on the iPad continues to build.
This checklist comes on the heels of Google announcing some serious new rules in their Google Play store in an attempt to weed out malicious apps and those that are just haphazardly put together and distributed out to users. After years of the Android marketplace looking a bit like the Wild Wild West, Google looks to put more law & order down and build up its reputation for having a marketplace where quality apps can be found.
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