There’s been a long in the tooth joke going around tech circles that there is no such thing as a tablet market, there’s just an iPad market.
Unfortunately, if you’re still using that line you’re about as funny as getting repeatedly kicked in the nethers because a new report out on tablet computer marketshare today shows that the iPad, from its heady heights of 90%+ marketshare has plummeted to about 50% (Q3 2012).
This is a very good thing for Android developers if we get a move on and start producing apps that are built with tablets in mind.
“I don’t think there should be apps specific to a tablet…if someone makes an ICS app it’s going to run on phones and it’s going to run on tablets.”
Andy Rubin, the head of Android, misquoted as saying there is no need for tablet apps
This statement has long been misinterpreted as meaning phone apps work fine on tablets – patently they do not. What he actually meant was a well designed Android app (for ICS and above – which most tablets run) will scale and adjust itself to make use of the extra space via use of Android features such as Fragments and the Action Bar.
Now this may be problematic – right now, Gingerbread still runs on 54% of all Android devices which makes backwards compatibility a real effort to manage, but if we build great looking apps across tablets and phones then we earn more from our work and help build a better future for Android.