Hugo Barra

Google's Hugo Barra: Android 2.2 'not optimized for tablets'

September 10, 2010: 12:57 PM ET

Is Google hedging its bets against the upcoming crop of Android tablets?

Hugo Barra from

Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google (GOOG),  told TechRadar yesterday,

"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. If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor. We want to make sure that we're going to create a application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have right experience."

It sounds to me like Google isn't impressed with the "official Android" experience on a lot of these new tablets coming out and that they think their upcoming Gingerbread OS might be better suited to tablets.   Specifically, Android apps haven't been built yet for the new 1024x600 screens that a lot of these devices will be supporting.  From Barra's statement, it sounds like those are coming however.

In a way, it is the equivalent of what iPhone apps looked like when they are opened on an iPad.  Apple (AAPL) was able to get developers to ramp up to iPad specific apps pretty quickly, however.

Nevertheless, the statement is still bad timing for all of the companies like Samsung, Toshiba and Viewsonic who have Android 2.2 tablets coming out in the coming months.


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