As O'Donnell says, "We're just waiting for someone to create that must-have [Android tablet] product that everyone wants for Christmas."
Future and Opportunity for Honeycomb Apps
Certainly, Honeycomb has had a sluggish start, and at this point there aren't enough users to send developers scrambling to churn something out. Before we pronounce the Android tablet app market dead, however, let us not forget that we have seen this before.
Tal Weiss, lead developer for AutoCAD WS (which has a very slick Honeycomb-optimized app) from AutoDesk, provided a nice history lesson. He thinks Android tablets are going to succeed, ultimately. "It was the same story with Android phones, where the first generation of phones were slow to take off... Their 1.x platform had a lot of trouble, but once they started getting into 2.x, the software got much, much better, and usage really exploded."
If we think of Honeycomb as Tablet 1.x, and Ice Cream Sandwich as Tablet 2.x, we may just see the same thing all over again. If history repeats itself and Android 4.0 is to 3.0 what Android 2.0 was to 1.0, we'll see a major app explosion. This puts a lot of pressure on Ice Cream Sandwich to be the giant leap forward everyone is hoping it will be, especially with the much-improved iOS 5 and Windows Phone 7 Mango updates coming out around the same time.
And if it does mean that developers are going to wait for the next step in both OS and hardware, it may take some time before Android tablet apps really start flooding in. It will likely be a slower trickle until a device comes out that everyone drools over. Honeycomb's reviews have been more positive than negative, but everyone seems to think it feels a bit unfinished. This means that there probably won't be a device that everyone wants until a major update comes out. With Ice Cream Sandwich not arriving until sometime in the fourth quarter, it could be a long, dry summer in the world of Android tablet apps. Those developers that do take the plunge will be rewarded, given that there's little competition right now--and new tablet owners are eager to get apps that show off their latest gadget.
As Goli said regarding Dictionary.com's app, "In any given month we're seeing greater growth on Android than on any other platform."
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