On Samsung Galaxy Tab: ‘Android Apps Are Going to Be a Little Ugly’

Surprise! It looks like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which will be running the tablet-incompatible Android 2.2, or Froyo, OS, might have some issues with applications. Samsung already mentioned that some applications and features have been optimized for the 7-inch display tablet experience, so those of you waiting for the Galaxy Tab should know what you’re in for.

Have you ever used an iOS app for the iPad that wasn’t an “HD” version, or one that was optimized for the Apple tablet? It looks hideous when you blow it up to full screen, right? And using the app within the black box (i.e. using the app as it was designed to be used with the iPhone) makes it almost seem pointless. Well, that full screen experience is going to be similar to what we’ll see on the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

There is a reason that some Android tablets don’t have access to the Android Market. Some of those apps would look absolutely hideous on a huge screen, and the Galaxy Tab is no exception. Although the 7-inch display isn’t as big of a jump from the 3.7-4.3-inch displays we’ve been seeing these days, the quality degradation will be noticeable.

Analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group says, “Apps aren’t going to scale right and won’t be quite as pretty. The apps are probably going to be a little ugly.”

We’ve also reported that Hugo Barra, Google’s mobile product development director, made it very clear that the Android experience is just not meant for tablets right now:

Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it already running on tablets. But the way Android Market works is it’s not going to be available on devices that don’t allow applications to run correctly. Which devices do, and which don’t will be unit specific, but Froyo is not optimised for use on tablets.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab will probably offer a pretty good reading, web browsing and video/multimedia experience, which might be good enough for some. Hell, it will even support video chatting – a feature which the Apple iPad sorely lacks. But if you’re looking for a decent experience with Android applications, you’ll probably have to wait until Android developers start designing or optimizing apps for the tablet market.

If you’re in the market for a tablet device, and you’re trying to choose between Android or iOS, be sure to take our Apple iPad vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab survey!

[Via: ComputerWorld]

  • Michael

    iPad scaled apps from 480×320 to 1024×768. Galaxy Tab will resize (not scale) apps from 800×480 to 1024×600. See the difference?

    The UI elements graphic will be the same as on Nexus One, EVO, etc. There just will be more space between these UI elements.

    • Kron

      Perhaps none of you CrApple iFadnoids don’t understand how graphics are scaled and both OS’s use the very same Khronos Group OpenGL ES 2.x and OpenVG (Vectored Graphics) API’s in order to scale Resolution Free, vectorable videos, pngs, fonts, svgs, etc within the CPU/GPU’s in hardware. So this is about as lame as it gets. Everybody that uses Linux knows about Vectorable Resolution Free Graphics. Granted even on iFad and iPwn’d4 the difference in native resolution even vectored will make them not as good as a native high res graphics. You can see that on Sony PS3 that also runs OpenGL ES and OpenVG for it’s apps. Including dynamically resizing (vectoring) your pictures and video to the output of your TV!!!

      Besides both Samsung and Google are working with app developers for a instant spread spectrum resolution auto adjust to go on the many different devices Android is installed on. That’s a given with Android, but with CrApple’s iOS devs have relied on very little change if any in what the screen size will be on their devices!!!

  • Things made at a lower resolution will be stretched and thus look worse. Not really surprising. Can’t get extra resolution out of nothing.
    When developing apps though, you can set multi-resolution options for all your media used, so its just a mater of time for developers to adjust really.

    • Malcom

      You *obviously* have no clue about the essence of vector graphics.
      Why is it that no-nothings are allways the most oppiniated thick heads of them all?!

      Vector Graphics are by their very essence resolution independent you n0b5!

  • Remember the time when the iPad was launched? There were no apps for it, although all iPhone apps were compatible with it because it has the same operating system – but iPhone apps looked a little ugly on the iPad’s considerably bigger screen.
    The situation is the same now: there are no apps – YET! – for Android tablets, so the apps made for a smaller screen look bad on a bigger one. This will soon change, I am sure 🙂

    • I hope so. Right now there are over 25,000 iPad apps, which is pretty quick considering the time it’s been on market. Hopefully Android catches up.

      • Ural

        Considering both iPhone and iPad use IOS, the fact that only 25000 apps are available only almost half a year past its debut is actually troublesome. Or the iPad or the Cocoa aren’t really doing there job.

        If an application is written properly, recoding it within the same OS for another resolution requires mild tweaking of the Presentation layer if all objects are treated as such.

        Actually I was expecting iPad apps to blow past Google iPhone apps within a month or two after iPads release. This hasn’t happened yet, proves that there is a lot more to it than that.

        Google will eventually catch up and surpass Apple in the App department some time next year. Especially now that so many other countries are starting to develop for it (cause its low startup costs). Developing on Apple is 5 times more costlier or more. A hackintosh runs for about 30 some dollars and your 100 dollar registration fee. Now developing for Android is 25 dollar registration and all else can be what ever you already have. Though for both a true development environment takes around 5K to setup.

        Apple is looking at Google bite its tail, it hasn’t realized that Windows Mobile 7 will trample all over it and probably Google as well. I personally don’t like MS Bloat. But their win mob 7 product has UGLY tiles but the rest works very nice, with the exception of multitasking. Google needs to develop a lot of utilities that are easy to learn if they would like to succeed and be a player long term. MS has finally figured out it needs to innovate and it seems that is has. Apple is like dear looking at headlights. Google is eating its market share and MS will run finish the job.

        • ypsrudy

          Concerning the Apps. As for me and a few million people all we need is 20 good apps. And then when the apps catch up and are sized correctly we can indulge ourselves.

    • john

      I remember when the iPad was released and there were quite a few big name apps for it.

  • SirZ

    The iPAD’s “edge” NOT ! ….. While on Android one installs and decides what to keep or not, on IPAD “Daddy Steve” decides and of course approves any application for you !

    • ypsrudy

      Ata boy, I’m with you I’d like a little more freedom of choice…. From what I read about the Galaxy tab it sounds like it has just about everything I need for now. That is until the next release and then I will trade up … word up.

  • TK

    no reason an app can’t run in it’s own window at regular size

  • sumuk

    This doesn’t sound right.
    First off the Android OS has been written with multiple screen sizes in mind. Remember it runs on many phones, so it has to make provisions for different sizes.
    Secondly the Android APIs try to make sure and prod all along the way such that you dont use absolute coordinates in your apps. This would cause you to fail on a different phone. They also have something called density independent pixels. So unless you are purposely trying to make your app not scale to another screen size, your app should likely work on the bigger screen
    You see most developers use percentage sizes and relative positioning to the parent. This makes the OS adjust it to the screen size it is running on
    So you definitely will not have pixellation.
    In the iphone case, the apps were written for once device and one phone and not multiple ones. so it was easy for developers as well as the layouts to be hardcoded.

    • lolm

      youre an idiot, just because it works on the tab doesnt mean itll look good

      sh1t, most apps look like cr-p on android phones, look up “taskiller” and prepare to laugh

      • merlin

        Who cares what it looks like? You people and your freakin looks fetishes. What difference does it make? Gosh, I wish sometimes that everyone was blind.

      • sumuk

        Hi lolm
        Thanks for your witty, to the point , concise and logical reply.

      • Steven

        You are the idiot, actually. I agree with this guy, from a development standpoint, as long as developers followed standard guidelines, their apps will display properly, without becoming blurry or otherwise distorted. Android handles UI really well between screen sizes, so the larger screen won’t matter for most apps. Mostly it will be games that will have problems at first. They’ll run, but they’ll run inside black borders. These should be easy to fix by the developer, and seeing how few games there are on Android, this would be trivial. Current ebook apps, as well as most other major apps will work just fine and look even better than on smaller devices. Developers will eventually target larger screens with better interfaces that take better advantage of the extra screen space.

        Point is, though a lot of Android apps are bad looking, the good looking ones will look good regardless of screen size, thanks to Android’s awesome use of UI tools.

  • Andy

    See the screenshots and read the article at http://www.droidsector.com/blog/2010/09/18/android-apps-on-samsung-galaxy-tab/ to see why most Android apps look great on the larger display. I think a lot of people assumed that because the iPhone apps looked awful on the iPad, Android apps will do the same. But Android has been supporting multiple screen resolutions for over a year.

  • Steve

    The Galaxy Tab is not an Apple Product. It does not originate from “Big Brother” Jobs. I will definitely buy one.

    • iBeatch

      You can moan about Apple’s “control”, but it’s clear…iOS apps function beautifully and look fantastic! I suggest the naysayers actually give ’em a try before they complain.

      • merlin

        Looks are over-rated. Funcationality is what these devices bring. They could be bright orange with polka dots and people would still be able to use them. Conversely, if they looked beautiful and cool, and did nothing useful , nobody would buy them.

        Functionality is king. Looks are the insecure queen.

  • Phillip

    Quite a bit of speculation. Where you out of viable news so you had to make some up? How about we wait and see the actual product working in real life. Then if it is an issue we can discuss. All the video of the Galaxy Tab shows things running perfectly.

  • Samson

    So tired of seeing this story pasted around the internet. Enderle is full of crap and doesn’t know WTF.

  • j hill

    galaxy looks promising. but cmon samsung galaxy tablet snd phones are a full on rip off of apple. they just take the latest apple model and trick it out six months in between apple releases.

    im all for the best product and user experience regardless of who makes it.

    i tried a chinese tablet running android and it was a major dissapointment.

    i am gonna wait to see what next wave of tablets is like. im hoping the 2nd generation ipad will be much better.

    definitely interested in the galaxy but lets face it its the korean knock off of the ipad.

  • Sopia

    Samsung Galaxy looks amazing!!!!! What ‘ugly’ are you speaking of??
    I really don’t see any ‘ugly’ in that phone. Perhaps my beautiful eyes just cannot see that 🙂 [not to worry–i’m not implying anything here..hehe]

    I cannot wait to get one.
    Go Samsung Galaxy!!!

  • Judy

    Please — what are you talking about? This new Samsung product looks fantastic. I’m getting one ASAP.

  • Ratnok

    Wow. Did Apple pay you guys to write this article? The bias towards the ipad was like reading Bush’s arguments that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I really am starting to think that it might be a good idea for journalists to disclose if they own stock in the companies they cover, or better yet, if they own the devices that they are covering.

    How much you wanna bet that Marc owns an iPad or an iPhone or both?

  • I passionately love Android, but I am getting concerned about this tendency to rush devices. There should at least be proper support in the app store for tablet based apps and a push to get developers to make some great looking games and apps for the new form factor.

    Hopefully this is all just speculation … hopefully.

    • Paresh 791


  • SirZ

    So let me get this straight …. the Famous Apple marketing slogan ..BE DIFFERENT …what it really means ….Do NOT decide for yourself what application to install on a unit ….. BE DIFFERENT!!!! Steve Jobs already decided what you can and can NOT install on it. APPLE and that goon control freak days are over!

    • Andre Richards

      Oh yeah, get all angry with it. That’s awesome.

    • Trent

      ooh big man. Show him whos boss while i read this on my iphone…

    • Trent

      ooh big man. Show him whos boss while i read this on my iphone…

    • Trent

      ooh big man. Show him whos boss while i read this on my iphone…

    • Trent

      ooh big man. Show him whos boss while i read this on my iphone…

  • No problem here guys. I just SPARE PARTS. I resizes the apps. All my apps work on my Samsung Tab

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