Google has now created a checklist for Android developers on how to build tablet apps with a better UI and user experience. While the company has been relatively agnostic as to screen sizes, Apple’s recent announcement that 250,000 apps in its App Store have been designed for or optimized for the larger iPad screen may have pushed Google to be more proactive on the tablet front.
Google has remained relatively quiet on the tablet front since the Motorola Xoom was released with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the first edition of Android to be designed for the larger screen. Since then, the next major push in the tablet arena comes from Google’s release of its own Nexus 7 tablet with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system targeting the 7-inch form factor with a $200 price tag.
Google’s recently published guidelines may help the company grow its app titles in the Play Store to incorporate more tablet-centric apps. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was the first version of the Android OS that combined the tablet and smartphone devices into a unified OS and would allow smartphone-designed apps to scale on tablets with larger displays. With the new guidelines, hopefully Android users will begin seeing multi-pane UI designs.