Honeycomb App Selection
Let’s be frank, there aren’t nearly as many Honeycomb Apps as there are iPad Apps. Why is that? It’s hard to say. On one hand, you have a huge iPad installed base, which is an understatement considering Apple is selling more iPad’s than Macbook’s now. They also seem to be able to make a better profit on the iPad, which may have something to do with Android on handsets. People on Android tend not to pay for any apps, and there are a larger percentage of free apps on Android Market.
If you were an app developer, which platform would you choose? The iPad and iPhone have such a huge amount of people developing for it, but if you don’t build a really great app, it’s hard to be noticed in a sea of other good apps. On Honeycomb, if you could build a compelling app, there would be little to no competition for you. The exposure you could get just by the fact that there is so much less Tablet apps in general on the platform could surely make a difference in your download count and your wallet.
Browser performance on the Transformer is great, and having Flash available to view videos in the browser is nice. But people don’t constantly want to be in the browser especially to check something like twitter. They bought a tablet for a different experience. Plume for Twitter on Honeycomb is one of a few Twitter apps made for the Tablets. It’s columns offer some customization, it loads extremely quickly, and is generally a clean experience. It is a nice example of a platform that hasn’t gained much traction on Android phones because of Twitter’s official app and other competition, but is the app of choice by many on Honeycomb.
Pulse is another great app for Honeycomb. You can choose from featured feeds, or plug in any RSS Feed yourself to view your news quickly and cleanly.
Swipe from side to side, click stories to enlarge, and launch the browser if you want to explore the site further.
The last App I want to highlight is the Gamefly App. Even if you don’t use the service, the app has news from the website www.shacknews.com and videos of the upcoming games. It isn’t greatly different from their iOS and Android phone apps, but simple tweaks make it easier to use on the Tablet, and make it much more usable.
I am looking ahead to when Google releases a Honeycomb optimized Google+ app, because Facebook hasn’t provided a Tablet app for the iPad for whatever reason.
In the end, the Honeycomb experience is mostly positive, with a few caveats. There are less apps than it’s biggest competitor, and they have greatly improved the user experience over time. But unfortunately it seems like the platform may not catch on greater until the unifying Smartphone/Tablet Software Platform Ice Cream Sandwich launches sometime this year from Google.