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Android Operating Systems Software

Why Are There So Few Honeycomb Apps? 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the endangered-species dept.
Fudge Factor 3000 writes "PC World's Brent Rose investigates the reason behind the dearth of Honeycomb apps even though the OS was released in February with the release of the Xoom. One would have expected an explosion of Android tablet apps like that seen with the iPad but the Honeycomb-optimized apps remain in the low hundreds. The answer, it turns out, is not that simple. The main contributing factors appear to be the low demand for Honeycomb tablets and the difficulty in discovering Honeycomb-optimized apps in the Market. Hopefully, this will be rectified in the near future."
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Why Are There So Few Honeycomb Apps?

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  • ...and platform fragmentation, perhaps?

    • Re:Rampant piracy... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:02AM (#36650530)

      Platform fragmentation - as in, different screen sizes etc., may be an issue but I don't know how bad it really is.

      I'm developing an Android app; doing it exclusively on my own device; have tried the emulator but it is so slow! Takes some 10-15 minutes just to start up, and then literally minutes to start running my app after starting it out of Eclipse. Not to mention the sluggish performance in the emulator. Searching for solutions to this problem only resulted in many hits of people with the same problem.

      So while I'd love to at least test my app on the "big screen", or even smaller screens for that sake (my device is double the minimum required), the shitty emulator makes it impossible.

      This I can imagine will hold back many developers to optimise their app for the tablets, as it'd require them to buy the device. And if only that emulator would work properly I'd prefer to use it instead of my device, easier!

      • Re:Rampant piracy... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SlightOverdose (689181) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:09AM (#36650552)

        Emulator Performance is the big problem. I've tried to develop a HoneyComb app, but the emulator is so slow it's absolutely unusable. Until that's fixed, developers are far less likely to flock to the new version.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          That is something that in a way surprises me. I mean not to say Google is the greatest ever, but I do expect better from them than putting out such a poor performing emulator. Android itself performs well, their Chrome browser is also known for being speedy, then why can they not get this emulator to work at a decent speed?!

          You and me have this speed problem, when I searched for possible solutions I found many other people have it, while others are using the emulator just fine (or so they claim).

          Their Ecl

          • by nexu56 (566998)

            That is something that in a way surprises me. I mean not to say Google is the greatest ever, but I do expect better from them than putting out such a poor performing emulator. Android itself performs well, their Chrome browser is also known for being speedy, then why can they not get this emulator to work at a decent speed?!

            From the SDK Tools v9 revision history: [android.com]

            Known issues with emulator performance: Because the Android emulator must simulate the ARM instruction set architecture on your computer, emulator performance is slow. We're working hard to resolve the performance issues and it will improve in future releases.

            • by wvmarle (1070040)
              That while Android runs on Intel just as well... dual booting with Windows!
            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              But then how do other emulators do it? We have emulators for everything from the old 2600 and C64 right up to the Nintendo DS and PS2 and from what I've seen they are quite speedy even on an early dual core CPU. Is ARM so complex that it simply can't be emulated? I thought ARM was a much simpler arch than x86.

              Maybe the Google guys should hire some of the game emulator guys or at least have them give some pointers as I doubt the average cellphone ARM CPU is much more complex than emulating the entire PS2.

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              That sounds quite daft. First of all, isn't the whole point of having a VM running applications instead of native approach if not to achieve ease of interoperability? Because N9's harmattan runs fucking circles around fastest androids on the market already while having weaker hardware, and the chief difference is that applications are run natively rather then in VM. So why isn't google working on a proper x86 version of Dalvik VM?

              There's also an issue of quality of emulator. I can emulate much faster consol

          • Android itself performs well, their Chrome browser is also known for being speedy

            Not Honeycomb. The thing is slower than my Nexus One (considering the difference in hardware, that's insane), and browser in particular is a POS that force closes regularly and lags whenever any textbox is in focus.

        • I know a guy trying to do an app in IOS and android. He says the android emulator is rubbish (and he's a java guy in his day job lol) and a big handicap, and that in comparison, the IOS one works perfectly.

      • I'm developing an Android app; doing it exclusively on my own device; have tried the emulator but it is so slow! Takes some 10-15 minutes just to start up, and then literally minutes to start running my app after starting it out of Eclipse.

        I set up an android dev station once out of curiosity. Ran a hello world program. My machine was mediocre, dual core intel, nothing fancy. And I didn't get this huge delay.

        Maybe you should take another poke at it. I don't know what could be causing your hang prob

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          As I mentioned already in the comment, some people have the problem, others not. You're apparently one of the lucky ones.

          That my machine is a relative old single-processor (I guess 1.8 GHz, not sure) machine should not be a problem; the same app is running on my phone at good speed, and that's a 600 MHz ARM processor! Windows in VirtualBox is also running fine, and that definitely requires more heavy-lifting than emulating Android (after all they don't HAVE to emulate the processor, as it's all Java code,

          • ... just wait till your app is out in the wild, trying to run on dozens of very different devices. It aint pretty.

            • by wvmarle (1070040)

              It's out in the wild, but unfortunately no chance for me (yet) to see it on other devices. Yet the comments that I get on design are very positive.

          • Same deal here with a Core2Duos @ 2.2+GHz on Windows 7... the emulator takes ages to start up and is slow as balls. Definitely not usable for actual application testing... :(

          • Re:Rampant piracy... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Ogi_UnixNut (916982) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:32AM (#36650774) Homepage

            Um, unless I'm misunderstanding you (i.e. the emulator actually executes native code, although then it's not really an emulator), this should be obvious. The emulator emulates a different instruction set (arm) on your PC (x86). Virtualisation has nothing to do with that, as that executes native code for the processor on the processor itself. As no instruction translation and emulation is needed, a virtualised OS will run much much faster (assuming no IO/mem bottlenecks, it should run as fast as the host OS).

            You have a 1.8GHz x86 processor, well I can tell you that it's highly unlikely to be able to run at anywhere near 600MHz arm speed. If you're lucky it will emulate about 200Mhz arm. Emulation is hard to do, and it's no surprise that it's that slow.

            Emulation != Virtualisation. They are very very different beasts. You can't say "Or, my machine can run X on virtualbox really fast, so I should be able to emulate a totally different processor just as fast". Different systems entirely.

            • by wvmarle (1070040)

              The whole Android system itself is platform independent - you can install Android on an Intel netbook (I have seen netbooks in the shops that are dual booting Android and Windows). So why emulate an ARM processor? Totally doesn't make sense.

              What you're emulating here is an operating environment, where the underlying hardware is actually irrelevant: you pretend to have a GPS (the developer can actually tell the GPS which coordinates to send to the app in the emulator, or to not have a fix, etc) , a WiFi con

              • The whole Android system itself is platform independent - you can install Android on an Intel netbook (I have seen netbooks in the shops that are dual booting Android and Windows). So why emulate an ARM processor? Totally doesn't make sense.

                Android is platform independent only if you stick to Java/Dalvik. However, pretty much all games, and many other serious apps, use native libraries written in C/C++, calling them via JNI. For many games, most of the code is in fact in C, with only the event loop in Java. At that point, you need to decide on some architecture for those binaries - which, in practice, is invariably ARM. Hence why the emulator needs to emulate ARM.

                • Apple gets round the problem by compiling code for x86 in order to run it in their iOS Simulator. Is there any reason that Google couldn't do the same?

                  For instance, does the increased freedom given to Android developers relative to iOS make it a more difficult thing to implement?

              • Last time I checked the emulator for Android was just qemu [qemu.org]. If you don't know what you're talking about, look it up.

    • Re:Rampant piracy... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xugumad (39311) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:18AM (#36650726)

      Platform fragmentation from the hardware side isn't the huge issue it's made to be. Anyone who has developed desktop software shouldn't have a huge issue having to target a variety of devices! There are problems that you have to think about very small screens, as well as portrait/landscape display, but it's really not that bad IMHO.

      From the software side, on the other hand, it's a right pain. Honeycomb adds the concept of a "Fragment", which is a re-usable UI grouping, so on a tablet you might put three next to each other left to right, but on a phone you display each Fragment as a single screen by itself. However, as no phone runs Honeycomb, this is basically useless; you have to write a Fragment based UI to make effective use of a tablet, and an Activity (or whatever) based UI for phones, so you have two UI layers. Once Ice Cream Sandwich comes out and phones start having Fragments, that will start solving this.

    • The only Galaxy Tablet users I've met who are actually pleased with the platform are the people who will force themselves to like the things they bought no matter what. They're also the type of people who will try and convince everyone else they love their new toys. After all if they can convince someone else they're justifiably pleased with their new toy then it must not have been a bad decision to buy it.

      I'm sure there are some people out there not outraged by the fact the the second they invested in a ta
  • How many are waiting until Google gets it act together with Honeycomb and comes out with Ice Cream Sandwich?
    How many just don't have Honeycomb devices?
    How many are protesting that there has been no Honeycomb source release by Google?
    How many Honeycomb apps were expected?

    • Almost all applications that run on 2.x also run on 3.0 because it's the same JVM.

      Apple used the same trick with the Ipad by including the number of Ipod applications that would run on the Ipad without modification. Why does Google not get this free ride.
      • IPod applications on the IPad are scaled up and look like shit. Android has less of this problem as it supports different screen resolutions (I'm guessing, I've never seen an Android tablet).
      • by toriver (11308)

        Almost all applications that run on 2.x also run on 3.0 because it's the same JVM.

        Careful, or Oracle is going to quote you in its case against Google...

        • by JAlexoi (1085785)
          Latest news: Oracle has only 2 patents left not invalidated by USPTO, that are still being re-validated.
          • by bogaboga (793279)

            Latest news: Oracle has only 2 patents left not invalidated by USPTO, that are still being re-validated.

            Where's the evidence...or are you simply trolling?

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      A) Some, not many
      B) Most of Android devs
      C) The one's that are protesting don't develop for android at all
      D) Higher rate of development was expected, but existing apps scale better than expected so people just don't bother....
  • Google does and can not force honeycomb actively onto the devices. Right now the majority of devices is not Honeycomb. So i would not program for Honeycomb. I am not even sure i would test on Honeycomb. The facilities which pre-Honeycomb Android offers are quite enough for nearly all application i can imagine.

    And if we talk about "tablet-specific" well there are application which make use of the older tablets.

    • by node 3 (115640)

      Right now the majority of devices is not Honeycomb. So i would not program for Honeycomb.

      The vast majority of devices is iOS. I'm specifically talking about tablets here, but this is also true of the aggregate of iOS and Android devices across all form factors as well (and is even true for just phones, although I wouldn't use the word "vast", although iOS's lead in phones is still in the double-digits).

    • by mjwx (966435) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:02AM (#36650688)
      I'm guessing no-one on this thread owns an Android tablet.

      There is not a shortage of Honeycomb applications. The vast majority of 2.x Applications will run on 3.0 with no trouble. Some of the UI's are not made for 10" screens but that does not make the applications difficult to use at all. The TFA is just trolling for page hits (it's ComputerWorld, did you expect anything different).

      Although I think Google does need to work on a resolution independent API for Android, the reported "dearth of applications" is vastly overblown for the reasons mentioned above. I've got a Honeycomb based Acer Iconia Tab and have got more applications on it then my HTC Desire Z (runs 2.3), but the ones I use most often are the inbuilt Google applications (Gmail, browser, Maps, Navigation) with the exception of flash (which absolutely flies but that's because it's connected to fast DSL via WiFi).

      Probably WYSE would be the most used application that is not from Google but the web browser on Honeycomb is good enough that it eliminates the need for a lot of applications..
      • by gilesjuk (604902)

        It's always the same, "we don't need tablet apps as phone apps look good" which isn't true. If you wanted to see the same phone app bigger you could just hold the phone closer to your face :)

        If Apple's iPad was like that people would be pointing the finger and laughing. But because Android has the problem people say "It's okay, we don't need that".

        This reminds me of Canon and Nikon camera fans. For years Nikon fans would say "we don't need full frame sensors" because Canon had them and Nikon didn't. As soon

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday July 04, 2011 @05:44AM (#36651000) Journal

          You should understand that there is a difference between how iPhone apps look on iPad, and how Android 2.x apps look on Honeycomb. On iOS, the app is not resized to fit the screen - at best, you can bitmap-scale it 2x, which looks ugly as hell. On Android, the UI designed using standard layouts is dynamic and reflowable, and so it actually resizes to fit. You don't end up with 2x-sized buttons and text and so on. You might end up with a lot of unused space, though, but that depends on the app. Some look meh, but surprisingly many end up looking very good. Most file managers, for example.

          • by PRMan (959735)
            Exactly. We aren't asking for tablet apps because we don't need them. Everything works and looks decent.
  • seems simple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:06AM (#36650538) Journal

    The main contributing factors appear to be the low demand for Honeycomb tablets and the difficulty in discovering Honeycomb-optimized apps in the Market. Hopefully, this will be rectified in the near future.

    Seems simple to me. I went to Best Buy this weekend, and the number of competing, often incompatible tablets, is enough to drive someone to give up and just buy an iPad. Not only the Xoom and the Galaxy tab, but also HP's latest webOS tab, and Blackberry's Playbook, and a number of other random ones. It was hard to figure out (especially standing in the store) what the differences were. I can easily see why someone would go for the iPad after seeing all that, since it has some name recognition.

    • Also note that the Galaxy Tab doesn't run Honeycomb (yet).

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>I went to Best Buy this weekend, and the number of competing, often incompatible tablets, is enough to drive someone to give up and just buy an iPad

      Yeah. I still don't see a reason for a tablet for myself, but I'm going to be expected to use one next year, so I went into Best Buy and flipped through their cheat sheet on Android tablets. Beyond knowing screen sizes, it doesn't really tell me anything I needed to know, other than the market is really fragmented. Like you, I was temped to just buy an i

      • It's the Galaxy Tab, the Xoom is clunky and overpriced. I personally like the Blackberry Playbook, although it still doesn't have many apps, it is a nice piece of hardware. Play that race car game that comes with the tablet for a nice taste of what the platform could be if they ever manage to get their software side figured out.
      • Re:seems simple (Score:5, Insightful)

        by moronoxyd (1000371) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:55AM (#36650664)

        That's a strange argument.
        The market for smartphones is fragmented, yet most people don't seem to have a problem deciding which one to buy.

        Fragmantation may be a problem from the technical perspective of a developer, but for consumers it means that they have a lot of choices, which is a good thing.

      • Re:seems simple (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LenE (29922) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:42AM (#36650790) Homepage

        I'm curious to get the input from you or someone else that has done the necessary research on Android tablets as to which the "best one" is supposed to be.

        The best one is the one that does the most things you would like to do, in a stable manner.

        Right now, for most people, that would be the iPad. Apple has their shit together, and that just cannot be said of ANY Android tablet maker or even Google, at this point in time. They just passed something like 100,000 iPad-specific Apps in their store. I have friends who are anti-establishment types (big Android fans), who have published an iPad app, and won't even consider producing an Android version. As new developers, they want to be paid, and pragmatism is a very good idea.

        Sorry, but until Google steps up and blesses a reference standard like a Nexus Tab or something, the Android tablet market won't have any "best" tablet. Until Google steps up with a real tablet SDK and a good emulator, the hurried and shoddy Android tablets will always take a back seat to the iPad.

        On a side note, the history of Android and iOS devices should be considered when looking at this market disparity. Apple started with the tablet first, and shrunk it down into a phone. Sure, the iPhone preceded the iPad to market by three years, but the tablet touch interface was being developed for the better part of a decade before it was shrunk down for the phone. In both iPad and iPhone/iPod renditions, the devices were clean-sheet from the ground up. Apple got it right on the tablet, and then worked to get it right on the phone. The delay in releasing the iPad was most-likely due to needing the silicon to catch-up, so that the user experience wouldn't suck. Apple has fast emulators for both the iPad and the iPhone, and targeting either device with a common codebase is very easy.

        Android, on the other hand, started out using the Microsoft Windows Mobile reference platform for hardware. The initial designs (pre-iPhone) looked much closer to Blackberries, than the now-omnipresent iPhone/Touch form factor. The first Androids were hobbled by their MS-designed roots with goofy memory management, and all Android manufacturers are still paying Microsoft for the privilege of using their crappy design. Android tablets grew out of this, with the added technical problem that any manufacturer could do whatever the hell they wanted to do. Until Honeycomb, all Android tablets used ugly (fragile) hacks to scale up phone interfaces. From Google's own admission, they did the same for Honeycomb, and won't be releasing the source because of it. Hopefully, they will eventually get it right.

        -- Len

    • you go online, you search around and then learn that the 'nook color' is a hackable for $200. fully rootable and unrootable if need be, via uSD card. (I plan to get one myself, actually).

      THIS is the de-facto android tablet, from all I can tell, out in the real world.

      get one and play with it. check the 'coupons' sites that talk about sales and stores and deals and stuff (many of them out there, I don't want to say which to go to, the all steal the 'deals' from each other and repost anyway...). the deals

  • If you look at past responses on Slashdot, many here seem fine with UI that is simply scaled up to whatever size screen is presented.

    Apple made a case to developers that the UI should be re-thought for something the size of a tablet - a sentiment I agree with. The iPhone supports just as many auto-scaling abilities as does Android, but the simply truth is that something the size of an iPad cries out for a different UI layout, not just windows that grow larger. You hold a tablet differently than a phone fo

    • Apple made a case to developers that the UI should be re-thought for something the size of a tablet - a sentiment I agree with. The iPhone supports just as many auto-scaling abilities as does Android, but the simply truth is that something the size of an iPad cries out for a different UI layout, not just windows that grow larger. You hold a tablet differently than a phone for one thing, so control positions should be re-thought. Having a whole screen slide over ala a navigation controller on an iPhone makes no sense on something with a huge screen, or at least looks goofy.

      From what I can tell, that's what the whole "fragments [android.com]" thing that Google is trying to introduce into android is about. It seems to me like the ability to make separate sections and display more if the screen size allows. Like instead of getting a list of articles, selecting one, then viewing it, it could just have the list on the left and the viewing on the right if the screen was larger (a tablet) while still using separate ones for small screens (a phone).

    • Your above post is totally misguided. IOS has no auto-scaling reflow capabilities whatsoever. This is a combination of the strange habit of many iPhone apps not using the standard iOS GUI toolkit, and iOS taking shortcuts.

      As a result, for the vast majority of iPhone apps, running them on an iPad results in an ugly pixelated mess.

      This is not true for Android tablets * at all *, because Android frameworks and applications are designed from the ground up to work on many resolutions, not just one "golden" resol

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:27AM (#36650598)

    This seems like the worlds longest circular argument. The iPad had similar problems when it was released, but people bought it despite not knowing what the killer app was and because people bought it developers developed for it.

    There are no Honeycomb apps, because there is a lack of Honeycomb tablets in the market. I don't know a single person with one, yet every second friend has an iPad regardless if they have a iPhone or an Android phone.

    People aren't buying the tablets because reviews are negative usually always on account of a lack of apps for it.

    And round we go again.

    • by jo42 (227475)

      The iPad had similar problems when it was released

      Horse poopies. The iPad ran most of the 200,000+ iPhone apps. On iPad Day One there where over 1000 iPad apps, there are now over 100,000. The 'roid platform needs to get a move on.

  • by c.r.o.c.o (123083) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:39AM (#36650630)

    I posted almost 6 months ago complaining about searching in the market app. In the meantime, none of my complaints have been addressed. Given that Google is still primarily a search engine with a bunch of OSs, browsers, apps and features designed to steer people towards their search engine, I would have expected them to implement a better Market app.

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2042754&cid=35526684 [slashdot.org]

    My final point still stands. Google does not want users to be able to easily differentiate between poor apps and high quality apps since they still won't allow you to sort results by number of downloads, rating, and a few other criteria I can think of. In the case of honeycomb I guess it's working against them.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      I posted almost 6 months ago complaining about searching in the market app. In the meantime, none of my complaints have been addressed.

      http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2042754&cid=35526684 [slashdot.org]

      Q: is /. a branch of Google's support? Otherwise I can't understand how would you expect Google to address your complains.

    • by pmontra (738736)

      Point taken. There is way to sort apps by popularity but it's not easy to understand what it means: it's not the number of downloads, it's not the rating. Is it what's been hot in the last N days? If it were, by which definition of hotness? Oddly (as we're speaking of Google) looking for something in the market is more a matter of discovery (browsing the "also viewed" and "also installed" lists) than one of search. I even enjoy that but it's a little time consuming.

      If I may add a complaint, I'd like to see

    • The number one thing I wanted as soon as I tried the market search was the ability to filter on the security permissions.

      I was looking for an offline bible reader (for my wife)... yet it was basically impossible to find one that didn't demand internet access, local disk access (is there a permission for an app-level storage folder only?), even access to your contacts and phone logs. I can't help but feel that this situation persists because there is no means of filtering apps that demand excessive permissio

      • Storage access is going to be required to store data on the SD card, and since the SD card is FAT formatted and doesn't have a permissions structure like the internal memory does, there's no way to restrict which files the app accesses once it has SD access.

        Personally I wish Android SD cards had always just been formatted EXT4 or something but that would make mounting the drive on Windows for mass file moving trickier.

  • No need (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:44AM (#36650638)

    Android has been written from the ground up to support different resolutions / dpi. There is no need to write "honeycomb" specific UIs, because well written apps would have already moved things around for a higher resolution, lower DPI screen. Honeycomb brought "fragments" (reusable parts of the UI) to make it easier for developers to switch between screen types, and "Renderscript" (easier to make fancy looking UI)

    Most of the apps that I use on my phone work well on a 10" screen, and some even reformat themselves (adding a side bar with commonly used controls, etc.). There are a few crappy apps that decide to use fixed pixel coordinates so they don't work (they are either uninstalled, or I email the dev about it and they fix it).

    Factoring the above in: why would you reprogram to use HC when your app is already doing the same thing? That's why most of the HC apps are *NEW* apps taking advantage of fragments, etc., and not ones that have been scrapped and redesigned for HC. If you use HC features, you need to use reflection / second code path for Gingerbread / non-tablet devices support -- adding extra work.

    Apps for the i-series devices had NO provision for higher resolution displays (most were using 320x480 or whatever the original res is), and therefore must have applications rewritten to take advantage of higher resolutions (blowing up 320x480 @ 3.5" to 1024x768 @ 10" = blur city. 800x480+ @ 4" to 10" is ok). Your options as a dev were either: your app looks like garbage (and therefore lower ratings), or your rewrite it (and count towards the "number of tablet apps").

    TL;DR: Good Android apps already support higher res / lower DPI tablets without needing to depend on Honeycomb specific features. As such, it doesn't count towards "honeycomb apps".

  • by Aceticon (140883) on Monday July 04, 2011 @03:53AM (#36650658)

    The Honeycomb tablets currently in the market are expensive, many even more expensive than an iPad and yet less polished.

    Trying to break into a market against a well-established player, when your product is more expensive, has less marketing and is lower in quality isn't going to work

    I myself have some really nice ideas for Honeycomb, tablet optimized apps but am holding off from developing them until the platform gets some traction.

    It might very well be that Honeycomb is this beautiful, hard-working, honey-making bee of the mobile OS world, but if hardware makers persist in sticking it on top of turds and hopping it sells, Apple is going to dominate the tablet market for the next 20 years.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      The Honeycomb tablets currently in the market are expensive, many even more expensive than an iPad and yet less polished.

      No..??!! You serious? [pcworld.com]

    • by MeNeXT (200840)

      I bought an ASUS tablet which was $200 less than the iPad with the same specs,

      I find very little missing. Two very big advantages, does not require iTunes and can sync with multiple computers. One more thing, it plays Flash which for me was never a selling point but my wife loves it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Gator (16820)

        I second this post. I can't say enough good things about the ASUS Transformer. The tablet rocks especially when you consider how much cheaper and open than the iPad it is. Not many people are talking about it here, I guess its still a secret with not as much publicity as the Zoom.

        The Android OS right now is pretty close to iOS. Its a little less polished, and does suffer from the occasional bug, but for the price you're gaining flexibility.

  • by caywen (942955) on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:05AM (#36650692)

    I went to Best Buy and on display were the Xoom, the new Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the iPad 2.

    Scrolling around, web browsing, and other things, the 2 android tabs were choppy. iPad was smooth as silk.

    Looking at the shell, the 2 android tabs have a lot going on. That's confusing. iPad is just a bunch of icons, but I get it.

    The iPad 2 was way nicer to hold than the Xoom, though the Galaxy was, IMO, the iPad's equal in this regard.

    Overall, the iPad 2 just feels like a refined device, and the Android tabs feel like, well, a Microsoft solution.

    iPad 2 wins, and therefore gets the developers.

  • Perhaps they're obscured from view... in some sort of "Hideout" for Honeycomb-related things.

  • by wintermute000 (928348) <`bender' `at' `planetexpress.com.au'> on Monday July 04, 2011 @04:15AM (#36650714)

    Its not like google lacks cash.
    Why not just commission say 500 apps at 10k each to jumpstart the eco system?
    The market issue is unbelievable esp for as company specialised in search

    • I think that's what Microsoft is sort of doing, but is it really working for them?
      • dunno, but MS is going from scratch (and arguably image handicap, everyone hates windows even non geeks as they associate it with work)

        Android would be building from established momentum, 500x10k = 5 million. Go large and go 5000 @ 50 million. Heck double the pay. Whats 100 million to google if it says grabs 10% market share? The #1 complaint against android tablets is lack of apps, its chicken and egg, so throw cash at it.

    • by rainer_d (115765)
      You mean, plagiarizing the most successful iOS-apps?
      The developers of those would certainly find this "amusing".

      Also, few good apps actually come out of such efforts in the end. Maybe 5 of 500.
      See Windows Phone....

      • Be smart, have it as some sort of competition with voting, judges, I dunno make some semi interactive system work. Hey turn it into a spectacle, whatever. I'm not saying hand out 20k to any half a--sed effort. Throw in another million or five for the vetting process if you have to, as long as it isn't a stalinist central command directed effort (in which case it would yes probably suck).

        That is such a straw man argument.

        • by rainer_d (115765)

          Be smart, have it as some sort of competition with voting, judges, I dunno make some semi interactive system work.

          You mean, like the Apple AppStore?

          ;-)

  • by Narcogen (666692) <narcogen&narcogen,com> on Monday July 04, 2011 @05:03AM (#36650878) Homepage

    "One would have expected an explosion of Android tablet apps like that seen with the iPad"

    If as many or more Honeycomb-running tablets were being sold, then yes, one might have expected that. Aside from that, there seem to be the issues cited in other comments, to the effect that it's hard to find apps in the marketplace, the emulator runs slowly, and not every Honeycomb tablet has the same technical specifications. So it seems like making this explosion of Android tablet apps may be harder than making them for the iPad, while serving a smaller audience.

    Who expected this explosion and why? What reason does anyone have to think these issues are being rectified?

  • by gig (78408)

    Most PC apps are C ... Android is Java, which is not suitable for a PC. The reason iOS has so many apps is that it is a desktop class system with native C, so you can easily port Mac, Windows, Unix, and game console code. If iOS had no C, iMovie and GarageBand and Keynote and many other PC apps would not be running there yet. They are there already because they did not have to be rewritten.

    • You can use C and C++ in Android apps for two years now [android.com]. In fact, most Android games are 99% C++. And did you think all those file browsers with SMB support implemented it from scratch? They just link to libsamba.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday July 04, 2011 @05:53AM (#36651020) Homepage

    The carriers don't like generic firmwares. Not only do they like to disable useful features, they also have to take a long time to negotiate deals bundling bloatware on devices. This makes them slow on the uptake for device software and even more slow on upgrades which often never happen to encourage people to buy new devices and extend their contracts.

    Manufacturers also want people to buy new devices as well, so there is less incentive for new software on old devices.

  • by Per Wigren (5315) on Monday July 04, 2011 @07:00AM (#36651220) Homepage
    There are still coming out new phones and tablets with fucking 2.2! Not even 2.3, ffs...
    1.6-devices are still being sold in stores.
    The only few tablets being sold with Honeycomb are more expensive than the iPad 2. As much as I prefer Android over iOS, if you ignore politics, lock-ins, etc for a little while, iPad 2 is simply the better product for 95% of the population right now, because it has the apps and its UI is quite polished, AND it's cheaper than less polished tablets with less apps.

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