Are you downloading apps from the Google Play on your new Nexus 7 and end up disappointed to discover that too many of them are phone apps blown up on the tablet screen? One of the things I appreciate about the iTunes app store is that it’s easy to see which apps are optimized for the iPad and which aren’t.
Good news, all you Android people. It’s about to get easier to find apps that look good on your tablet.
Google Play has had a section for tablet optimized apps for a while now, but starting November 21, if you browse to the store on your tablet, you’re going to default to the tablet app section. Of course you’ll still be able to switch to phone apps, if you’d like, but tablet apps are going to be more visible to you.
This has implications for developers as well. In the Android Developers blog post announcing the change, Ellie Powers from the Google Play team highlights the success of Remember the Milk, which had a huge increase in tablet downloads by being listed in the tablet apps area. Under the new Play paradigm, developers risk their apps never being seen by tablet users if they aren’t optimized.
Fortunately, the post has several links to help developers ensure their apps are designed for tablets. Remember, app developers, if your apps aren’t listed in the tablet area, you’re effectively announcing to all your potential customers that you haven’t made the effort to optimize them. Is that the message you want to send?
I’m looking forward to the change. I think the tablet spotlight section is difficult to find if you don’t know to look for it. Defaulting to tablet apps will, I think, improve the Play experience for users, especially for people who are new to tablets.