This post is limited to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 because the other Android tablets are not worth talking about or existing.
After releasing the Nexus 7, I have noticed many popular apps getting updated for a tablet UI. The Nexus 7 is very popular and is selling well. The tablet app ecosystem on Android is growing, albeit very slowly.
The Jellybean tablet UI is pretty much the phone UI stretched unlike the ICS tablet UI. This is both a good and a bad thing. It is good because now nexus tablet and phone owners will have a similar UI on both devices. It is bad because people used to the ICS tablet UI earlier have to go back to the phone UI. Google can get away with a phone UI on a 7 inch tablet because most apps are just phone apps stretched to a large screen but on a 10 inch device like the Nexus 10 that will be released soon, apps that have no tablet UI will look terrible. That tablet was made to be used in landscape mode anyway. The Nexus 10 has an insane resolution that is higher than the 3rd/4th generation iPad. It has the resolution you see on most 27″ displays today. I think Google jumped the gun here. While this is a great screen and for the price will be a great tablet for media and games, you could probably count the apps that will work well on this screen on one hand. The Nexus 10 will either encourage developers to work on a tablet UI for larger screens or just slowly die like the other large screen Android tablets. Another thing I don’t understand is why it took google so long to release an update that enabled landscape mode for the Nexus 7. I was shocked that this wasn’t possible on the stock launcher. I used Nova Launcher Prime to enable landscape mode for the homescreen but the lockscreen remained in portrait mode until the recent 4.1.2 update. You should also consider getting that for your Android device if you like using gestures on your device. From the looks of it the Nexus 10 is to be used only in Landscape mode which sucks because tablets should be flexible. The iPad works perfectly in both orientations thanks to its aspect ratio.
Duarte has brought tons of good things to Android and if it weren’t for him, I probably would have never considered buying an Android device let alone owning and liking one. Google recently introduced tablet UI design guidelines. While this is a good thing, Google is not doing their part by featuring apps using these guidelines. The “Staff Picks for Tablets” section on Google Play is full of games and barely any apps with a UI designed for tablets. I still don’t understand why they don’t feature more apps that use their Holo design. Why feature only apps that sell when you want your ecosystem to grow with quality and not garbage like Beautiful Widgets? I can only hope that with the introduction of the Nexus 10 this month, Google ups their game on Google Play. Apple is known to feature apps that take advantage of new hardware. They have a separate section in the App Store for this with every launch. Featuring games and a few sub par apps while other great apps like TV Show Favs that work beautifully on tablets will only prove how weak the ecosystem really is.
Releasing Nexus tablets is something they should have done a long time ago. Featuring quality apps and not just popular apps will only help the ecosystem grow. Google, please feature apps that adhere to your guidelines because I want the tablet ecosystem to grow. The developers are working but Google needs to showcase their work being put in for a better tablet experience.