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!