With the growing army of Android-based tablets versus – what? – three iPad models, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see Google’s OS gradually grabbing more and more of the tablet market.
Success aside, there’s still plenty wrong with Android tablets, but Google promises that the best is yet to come.
One classic bugbear of Android tablets is the lack of specifically designed tablet apps. Meanwhile, the iPad boasts tablet-specific designs for popular services like twitter, Spotify and Dropbox.
Playing it down somewhat, Hugo Barra, Google's VP of Android product management, tells The Verge: "The absolute position that we're in is one where well over 60 percent of the apps that you'd expect in a given category are already available with a decent tablet UI.” Er, what about the other 40%?
To be fair, the situation has improved, thanks in part to the recently published Tablet App Quality Checklist for Android. Other initiatives include Google Play Games, and the inclusion of Open GL ES 3.0 in Jelly Bean Android 4.3 for enhanced graphics.
In addition, Barra promises better hardware. Check this: "If you look at the execution that HTC did on [the One smartphone], it's pristine. Why hasn't someone done that on the tablet? Or on like ten tablets?"
Finally, on the subject of the Google Nexus 7’s wallet-friendly success, Barra purrs: "Doing that at the $400 category can be done and it will. In my opinion, the Android ecosystem has been lagging behind a little bit but is catching up."
That all sounds quite promising, actually. What a lovely story.