His explanation? Android’s apps simply don’t compare to the apps in Apple’s App Store. In his words, Android apps “really suck.”
Segan, who awarded the new iPad with an Editors’ Choice award for large tablets, says that there was essentially no competition. And it’s true, as an iPad user, I can’t imagine recommending anything else to a tablet-seeking friend or family member.
As Segan says, it’s never been about the hardware. Android tablets are equipped to be every bit as good as the iPad (except in screen resolution), but the software has never been up to par. Specifically, the apps for the iPad are better than the apps available for Android.
In order to test why Apple’s apps are better than Android’s, Segan did extensive research which started out with an exploration of the top apps from popular Nielsen and Alexa brands.
What issues did he end up running into?
Availability, for one. He had a difficult time finding tablet oriented apps for Android, which are often fragmented by tablet type. Google Play, for example, shows different apps on its website and on individual tablets. When Segan looked for some apps that he found on the website, he was unable to find them in Google Play on the Asus Transformer Prime.
He found that many of the apps that claim to run on tablets weren’t actually designed for tablets, which means that some of the apps he downloaded were visually unappealing or unusable because they were designed for a smartphone. That wasn’t a problem on the iPad because iPhone apps don’t scale as well, prompting developers to create separate iPad versions of their content.
Android also simply didn’t have as many apps as Apple’s tablet. For example, there’s one app from ABC for Android tablets, while there are 12 on the iPad. There were 9 Android Disney apps, and 32 iPad Disney apps.
In some cases, content was available for Android but not for the iPad. For example, there’s no official Wikipedia app or LinkedIn app for the iPad, but both are available on Android. Segan says it didn’t matter – both of these apps were so poorly designed that it was preferable to use the actual websites instead.
While there are a few exceptions to the rule, including the Android tablet version of CNN, Android tablets just aren’t able to compete with the iPad, in terms of app availability and usefulness. Segan’s conclusion? New Android tablets may match up to the iPad in terms of hardware, but they’re a long way off from matching the iPad’s incredible app availability. Check out the full article to see comparison pictures of iPad apps vs. Android apps.