Dev

Google rallies its troops for better-quality Android tablet apps

Image Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=tablet&search_group=#id=110139323&src=b18cb044a7b8d17889edbc9e9cf762e9-1-56

Google has just laid out a slew of best practices for building Android tablet apps.

The company is anticipating a surge of Android tablet sales around the holidays, and in a blog post and a library of related documents, it revealed an exhaustive set of guidelines to help developers take advantage of holiday sales by creating the kind of best-in-class apps that the company wants to feature in Google Play.

The just-released tablet app checklist helps devs reach certain benchmarks for “compelling features and an intuitive, well-designed UI.” This checklist links to longer documents — guidelines, UI grids, you name it.

The company also released a set of case studies to give developers hands-on examples of what makes a great Android tablet app as well as behind-the-scenes info on how those apps were created and tweaked.

Overall, Google has been working with devs to put a strong emphasis on app quality. Due to longstanding frustrations with the panoply of Android hardware form factors, developers have had legitimate challenges in creating tablet apps in particular that can compete with iPad app quality.

However, with the relaunch of Google Music, Google Books, and the Android Market as the now-unified Google Play, the company is doubling down on its efforts to give end users beautiful applications — and that means giving developers better tools.

In a recent interview with Play’s team, we called the new store “a high-end shopping mall with a cornucopia of stores” and noted that it was sleeker, sexier, and more expensive-looking than its predecessors.

“We wanted to convey fun, the notion that there’s a lot to entertain here,” said Google Play engineering director Chris Yerga during a private chat at Google I/O this year. “And we wanted to convey that this is a destination for premium content.”

With any luck, today’s new guidance for devs will help bring more and much better tablet apps to Play, as well. Whether the holiday sales will bring more Android tablets into users’ hands is another matter altogether.

Top image courtesy of Chepko Danil Vitalevich, Shutterstock


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