Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wait, Did Steve Jobs Give Android Too Much Credit?


You may recall the iPad 2 launch event where Apple CEO Steve Jobs bashed Android for its limited number of applications. More specifically, Jobs claimed that Android had no more than 100 applications designed specifically for Honeycomb tablets. Now a report out of AppleInsideris claiming Jobs may have been a bit generous with the quoted figure. According to their numbers, there currently exist only 17 Honeycomb-specific applications.
The same reports uses the Featured Tablet Applications tab on the Android Market web portal as a gauge for how many tablet applications actually exist for Android. They number them at 50. Did anyone bother to read the part of the heading that said ‘Featured’? If this list was all tablet apps for Android, wouldn’t they just call it Tablet Applications? What would the point of featuring anything be?
Semantics aside, we find the figures these Apple folks working with to be sketchy at best. Even if an application isn’t built specifically for Honeycomb, developers have been hard at work building Honeycomb support into their applications in ways that include more than just scaling for device screen size. Each day that passes it seems we add another major app to the stack of those ranking among the Honeycomb crowd. For someone to claim only 50 apps function to a point that you could stand using them on a tablet, and of those only 17 are designed for Honeycomb, seems a bit outrageous.
The Android Market currently stocks about 200,000 applications, and even if a small fraction of those take full advantage of the tablet’s larger size, the majority work just fine with the hardware. The same goes for Apple. They may have a larger selection of tablet-optimized applications, but the bulk of their software is geared towards the smaller iPhone. It hasn’t stopped anyone from using these apps on the larger screens of their iPad, however. The fact is Android will catch up to Apple, and quickly. Android has been growing by leaps and bounds, and in terms of market share has paced and beaten Apple in a very short period of time. Analysts predict total apps for Android will surpass Apple within the next few months, and no doubt those for tablets will, too.

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