Pushing for better tablet apps, Google adds new developer optimization tool

Android tablets essentially began life as super-sized smartphones, meaning apps weren’t optimally sized for bigger screens. This was a valid early criticism of Android tablets that I witnessed firsthand in 2010 when I bought a 7-inch Galaxy Tab. I often found very large buttons in apps or text that didn’t fit properly in a section of an app.

Unlike Apple’s approach — which offers apps specific both phones and tablets (save for the universal apps) — Google doesn’t support have tablet-specific apps. Instead, the company created guidelines and coding tools for apps to work properly on both phones and tablets with a single .apk installation file. But developers have to take advantage of these and properly code for different screen sizes. Not all of them do; in fact, I’d say a fair amount actually don’t. Hence, Google is trying to subtly nudge developers to do so with the new optimization tips tool.