Considering Buying an Android Tablet for all the Great Native Apps? Think Again

Frustrated that it’s almost impossible to find and buy and iPad 2?  Thinking about buying an Android 3 (Honeycomb) tablet instead?  Before you take the Android plunge there something you should know, there’s less than 100 native Android 3 Tablet apps.

Nearly a month after the Motorola Xoom was released, the first Honeycomb tablet, the number of Android tablet apps available in Google’s Android Market has hardly budged.  According to Electronista, developer Justin Williams looked through the Android Market and found there were fewer than 100 Android 3 native apps.  Electronista reports approximately  “14 core apps are still truly native, while a total of 50 include both the native apps as well as those phone apps with basic resizing for the larger screen.” Williams says there actually may be more native apps available, but Google’s Android Market doesn’t currently provide an easy way to search or filter tablet specific apps.

While the number of Android 3 native apps is rather disappointing, customers can always run other Android apps. Android currently has over 150,000 apps available and most of these apps will run on the newer Android 3 tablets like the Motorola Xoom without any issues. While the apps may not take full advantage of the tablet’s new capabilities, many will scale to fit medium density screens.

The lackluster Android 3 app support could have many root causes. Electronista speculates that Google’s rush to get the OS out the door didn’t leave enough time for developers to begin working on apps. While it’s true that Google only released a beta SDK a month before the Xoom launched, two months should have been plenty of time for interested developers to get apps out the door. When the iPad originally launched, Apple was able to get over 2,000 native apps in the App Store.  Developers had a little more than two months to build their apps so the lack of Android 3 native apps seems a bit curious.

With more Android tablets hitting store shelves later this year, developer interest may increase as consumers start snapping them up. So ask yourself this question, is it worth waiting three or four weeks for an iPad 2 and enjoying over 75,000 iPad native apps from day one or do you buy a Xoom and wait for developers to start making native apps? Choices, choices!


About Bill: Contact me via Twitter: @PadGadgetBill

  • rob

    Oh people please take a look at what this site is selling and who it’s geared towards before you take a word of this seriously. This article is geared towards keeping the people who are on the fence or those not completely brain washed by uncle Steve from jumping ship due to a less than impressive tablet. Sure the ipad is thin, but it can’t due half the stuff an Android tablet can. When over half your Alps are just appafied web which any android an accomplish through it’s FULLY FUNCTIONING browser, the ipad seems less impressive. Try playing flash, try loading something other that h264 video, try loading content o from another computer….guess what you can’t. The smell of desparation hangs heavy in the air.

  • iDont

    Seriously? Native Apps? More like attention grabbing headlines. A huge number of so called ‘Native apps’ for the iPad are not any different than the original iPhone/iPod apps, and many others have only added screen filler. There are 10s of thousands of Android apps that run just fine on the Xoom and other Android tablets. How about the choice of being able to get your Android apps from anywhere you choose instead of being tied to the iWantYourMoney iTunes store? How about the ability to easily install your own apps? How about getting suckered to buy an iPad 1.5 only to find out that the real iPad 2 (3) will be out fairly soon and actually have somewhat worthwhile improvements.

  • Ural

    Well. their are three Android pads that I am buying this year.

    And no, I would never consider an Apple product on the basis of their intrinsic view of telling me what I can see and what they want to charge me.

    Free is a good price and Android offers it. Apple barely considers it.

    Real multitasking and good notifications can only run on Android.

    Three years ago many used the same argument NOT to consider an Android phone. I was among the first to purchase two G1’s. Never regretted this and now it has more options than iPhone has (Apple will loose the apps lead this year, it has surrendered everything else, even technological lead). And I do run 2.2 on my G1.

    Now, consider an Android tablet, the NOOK color is the least expensive system which would equate to a G1 and 3 million people are very happy with it. Probably will take one maybe two of these.

    LGSlate looks impressive, if it has international bands Two of these will also be in my possession before years end.

    Considering more than 70% of all developers (among them my self) are developing for Android/Honeycomb this year this is a none issue.

    As a developer, did you know that Pocket Legends is economically more successful on Android than on iOS. Ask SpaceStudios who released the app for iOS first and then Android if this is true, they will stand by my words. Android DOES make money for developers who are smart!

    Almost 200K apps are readily available for Android, over 60% free this means there are 120K free apps. Apple on the other hand has 350k apps ~50K are books, so they really have 300K and only 25% are free thats 75K are free. And unlike Apple’s iPad or iPad2, ALL Android apps do run under Honeycomb.

    So, reality is there is no reason to consider an iPad. And there are multiple reasons to consider an Android.

  • Shane

    Just picked up a XOOM last week and since doing so I have yet to turn on my original iPad after looking at the two next to each other.. Honeycomb sure makes iOS look like legos or some kids toy/learner tablet.. I have Pulse news reader and Kindle on the Xoom – which both work better than they did on the original iPad.. so there is no going back for me.

    One thing about the Tablet apps.. Unlike the crappy iPhone app emulator that comes with the iPad for apps that only work on the iPhone (1x/2x anyone?) – Most Android apps seem to work and spread themselves out across the entire display – even though they weren’t originaly made for a tablet device.. The resolution / sizes stay the same, just more display area. Not to mention all my WIDGETS that I have on my EVO 4G work just as good on the tablet, and i now have even more room for more even more widgets! I love it 😉 As soon as the other Android tablets drop, so will prices on these things, then more will choose Android over iOS for cost and choice..

  • GSMPedia

    I think i’ll stick with Android.

  • DJ

    Obviously the author of this poorly written article has not taken the time to get beyond his bias for iOS. Unlike Apple Google has provided a fragmentation fix specifically to address screen resolution issues between phones and tablets to adjust across everything 2.1 and above including 3.0. I myself will be picking up a nook color and run honeycomb on it for the price and my time it suits me much better than bowing down to Steve Jobs to suckle at his teet so he can feed me a device the way he feels i should experience it.

  • Ahmad Rashad

    The industry standard is the iPad right now, and it’s likely to stay that way until the Android App store for their tablets reaches a decent amount.

  • Jamie Lu

    One big diffent between apple people and android people is the fact that most android users have a tech background or are knowledgeable about technology. Apple’s market tends to be geared to the regular people who don’t know crap about technology and don’t care if you can multitask, read a website while downloading torrents. Some people just don’t get that the reason why apple has so much success is cause people feel comfortable with their technology.

    I’m a system administrator and I love android, but if I give a xoom to 10 members of my family I would be getting stupid calls all day and night.

    Android – techies
    Apple – everyone else

    • Anonymous

      I agree jamie. There is a reason for that big fat button on the iPad. Pushing a single button is about as technical as most ipad users can get.

    • Anonymous

      I agree jamie. There is a reason for that big fat button on the iPad. Pushing a single button is about as technical as most ipad users can get.

  • slosuenos

    I’m done here. I’ve been viewing this site daily to keep up to date on iPad stuff. I don’t understand what the point is to bash the competition like this. This really makes me not want to buy more Apple products.

    Good bye and good luck Pad Gadget. You’re going to need it.

    • Bill


      sorry to see you go. We weren’t trying to bash Android, we actually think it’s a great OS and will be a dominant player in the tablet market. We were simply reporting on a developer’s findings about the number of Honeycomb specific apps available in the Android Market. The findings surprised us as the number of Honeycomb specific apps seemed very low for a platform that has over 150,000 apps. Of course the lack of Honeycomb specific apps isn’t a huge issue as most apps since Donut (1.6) have had the ability scale up to support medium density displays.

      Several PG readers have recently been complaining about the extreme iPad 2 shortages and have said they were going to pickup an Android tablet. We figured Justin Williams findings were an interesting fact for anyone considering the move to Android.

      Hope to see you back.

  • proplayer

    Really guys, you come to an iPad app site and all you can share with us is your devotion to your Android device?
    Other than wondering about your astroturfing and the purposes why, we really don’t care about your opinions or how inadequate you must feel. We are quite satisfied with the offers and info on this site and certainly are not going to be convinced to switch by what are just WATBs.

  • Ankit

    I have had IPAD until now and want to switch to android.
    Are all android apps for tablets for a given version of OS compatible with all the manufacturers of android tablets with the same version of OS ?

  • Ankit

    Prime ? They say connectivity is a big issue with it.
    Infinity ? Its too pricey.