I am an Android developer and enthusiast with over 10 years of Java development experience. I'm big fan of good design an appreciate well though usability design in applications. Juhani is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 111 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile
Why Android Smartphone Apps Aren't Ready for Tablets - Future Proofing your App
recently reintroduced "Featured for Tablets" category in the Android
Market tablet client. While I'm happy that Google gives more publicity
to tablet apps again I'd hope they would be more careful when selecting
apps to feature.
Currently, at least in Germany, AlloCine is one of the featured tablet
apps. Running the app was a big surprise. The app is not ready for
tablets. It is a smartphone app.
This provided me an excellent opportunity to look into tablet design and
what makes an Android tablet app. I use the AlloCine app as an example
here. I'm aware that being featured as "tablet ready" wasn't their
choice and they probably haven't yet taken the time to
implement their tablet layouts. The following critique is not directed
to this single app but is meant to more general view why a smartphone
app isn't (in most cases) good enough for tablets. This is despite
Android's layout managers some times doing great job adapting screen
design. However, often a larger redesign is needed.
Tablets have much more screen real estate than their smartphone
counterparts. It doesn't mean that the screens should be jammed full of
components and information but the design should utilise the screen real
estate at some level.
Honeycomb Action Bar and menu Honeycomb Action Bar API
is a valuable component that should be utilised unless there's a good
reason not to do so. It will remove the need to use the Android menu and
provide consistent look and feel to apps. Fragments
Ui fragments allow implementation of much more adaptive UIs. In this case a split view could be a good approach to help utilise the larger screen size.