News by Andrew Kameka on Friday August 16, 2013.
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Can you believe it? Popular apps developed by Apple for the iPad and iPad Mini are not available for Android tablets like the Nexus 7. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true! Market research firm Canalys reports that 30 percent of the Top 50 free and paid iPad apps in the U.S. are not available for download through Android's Google Play store. The news got even worse once the firm noted that 18 percent of the apps are available but not optimized for tablets.
Canalys first reported this news on Wednesday, and outlets have used it to hammer Android for its tablet app problem. However, few people have bothered to actually look at the list of the Top 50 apps of the iPad charts, which Canalys helpfully includes here in a PDF file. Taking a look at the list would have pointed out something fairly obvious: Apple makes many of the missing apps. The popular iPad apps missing from Android include Pages, iMovie, GarageBand, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto, Podcasts, Find My iPhone, iBooks, iTunes U, and Find My Friends. A chunk of the "missing" apps are products developed directly by Apple that no one would ever expect to appear on Android. With the exception of GarageBand, Android already has those same features available.
So what about the many other apps that are missing? Disney's Minnie Mouseke-Puzzles, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Sofia the First are notably absent and fit into Canalys' analysis that Android needs to attract more developers to support tablets. However, Disney has already done that and 5 of its 8 apps are on Android and are tablet-optimized. Notability is a very good note-taking app that Samsung tablet owners need not worry about, but I'm not aware of an Android tablet app quite as good. Goodreader is an excellent PDF reader that's iPad-only, but Calculator Pro is a scientific calculator that has many Android equivalents. Amazon Instant Video is only on the Kindle Fire, and NBC is not available, but people willing to pay money for Hulu+ can access the same content.
The real gap seems to exist in games. The remaining missing apps include Eden World Builder, Bejeweled HD, FIFA Soccer 13, Stack the States, Team Umizoomi Math, Skins Pro Creator for Minecraft, Bubble Guppies, Clash of Clans, and Hay Day. There are undeniably not as many choices for gaming on Android as there are on iOS, and the top studios tend to release iPad versions before they target Android, if at all. That's definitely one area that Google needs to improve.
I'm the first to acknowledge that Android trails the iPad when it comes to the number of tablet apps and the number of high-quality options available. Any objective person will say that the iOS App Store is better than Google Play when it comes to tablets. However, the picture painted by Canalys is a simplified version of the reality faced by Android tablet owners. Though I agree with the overall sentiment, the gap is not as wide as the report makes it seem. As I said in my Nexus 7 review, the gulf between the two platforms is very real, but there?s still a solid number of quality of apps and games made for tablets. Canalys is right to say that Google needs to do more to make developers target tablets rather than rely on Android?s scaling, but saying half of the top apps are unavailable for Android isn't exactly true.source: Canalys
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.