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Increase Your App’s Reach By Building Quality Tablet Apps

"To help you take advantage of the opportunity provided by the growing tablet market, we’ve put together a Tablet Quality Checklist to make it easier for you to ensure your app meets the expectations of tablet users."

What are your tips for building great tablet apps?
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Simon Velez's profile photoJeff Axelrod's profile photoMichael Panzer's profile photoGianluca Mazza's profile photo
27 comments
 
Where can I join a free app development group to learn and develop apps strictly for knowledge
 
I feel like the Nexus 7 is just half the tablet experience. For me sw720 is a full tablet. The point of a tablet is more space on the screen.
It's like now you have to make 3 versions. One for smartphones, one for the nexus 7 and one for the 10,1" devices like the ASUS TF201 or TF700... The Nexus 7 should have had MDPI not TVDPI.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Nexus 7 and try to code something usefull for it.. :-)
 
I must be doing something wrong with my tablet game Siege Towers For Two:

 iPad Downloads:    326,879
 Android Downloads:   1,854
 
+Philipp Lenssen Hi, I tested the game on my nexus 7 and here is a screenshot.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/261zh9kon62rkbp/2012-10-08%2020.44.53.png

there are a few things to improve. Android tablets have another aspect ratio so you can't just take the ipad app and put it on a android device and think it's going to work. 
Maybe they will have a look at your game in the Friday Game Review.
BTW: Get rid of the "menu button of shame". Just change targetSdk to 14 and then minSdk to 7 (I think that should be 2.2 Froyo) and then it should be gone.
 
So +Philipp Lenssen your app isn't optimized for Android by the look of the screenshot posted by +Michael Panzer. There is a LOT of unused screen space. Clearly, you just ported your title from the iPad.

I think that would help in making your tablet game a little more appealing to us Android tablet users, don't you think? 
 
Is there actually a way to create charts like those on the picture in the sdk?
 
Marcus, there is not just one Android -- there's a variety of different resolutions depending on hardware, and I've optimized the game for some of them (but not all), and it will span the full screen on other devices. I bought three Android devices specifically to test but can't test on all. I'm sure there's a lot left that can be optimized, of course, but you have to start somewhere, and I've started by porting 9 of my games specifically for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Philipp+Lenssen (of all the games you'll see there, Siege Towers is actually #2 in downloads)

For what it's worth, even on iOS it's not easy to make a living -- the 300,000+ downloads were mostly for the free version of Siege Towers, not when I had it paid. If I take a next development step, it will likely be for unlockable in-game content for iOS, but I'm currently focusing on a free in-browser HTML5/JS game that will run in the likes of Chrome, Firefox & IE.
 
+Philipp Lenssen I think what +Michael Panzer is saying is that, precisely, your game should adapt to the aspect ratio of the device display. It does indeed look weird to have those black stripes on the side.
 
Great news. Most of these things are well-known to experienced developers, but the advices will surely be helpful to everyone, put together in one place, because it's really easy to forget about something.
 
+Gianluca Mazza I'm still learning but I have all this free time daily to devote to developing with a group of people solving issues and being apart of something amazing
 
+Zhelyazko Atanasov I think the worst thing is that the good qualifiers like sw600dp come with API 13 and if you want to have your app on 2.3.x it's getting a bit complicated. That is what bothers me.
 
+Michael Panzer Technically there are no "tablets" prior to API 11; API 11 - 13 are tablets-only, so you can target those platforms with -v11 qualifier; sw600 is basically needed to distinguish between 10 inch tablets and 7 inch tablets with dense resolutions, which did not exist prior to ICS or even Jelly Bean.
 
does anyone know where i can join a group or learn how to code basic apps? i really wanna help people out lend a hand in making these apps...
 
But how are users are going to be able to tell these Quality Tablet Apps from the NOT quality tablet apps???? Maybe a first step will be a new tablet category that includes all apps that use fragments API. I know that doesn't speak of "quality" but at least if an app uses fragments it is more likely that it has been designed for variable resolutions and screen sizes in mind.
 
+Philipp Lenssen No bigger turnoff for Android users than a straight port of an iPad app, right down to its 4:3 aspect ratio.
 
My tip? Live in a rich country, unless you want to give all your work away. Play won't pay you in a third world country.
 
Harry, see above -- I adjusted the aspect ratio of some of my ports on some devices, e.g. by drawing new edge graphics. However, for a single developer to be noticed, it often takes a bit of a push from the app store itself -- unless you want to invest in multi-thousand dollar ad packages (yes, some are that expensive, even for a daily push). That might even be the bigger market, judging by all the spam mails I get from the app stores: selling vanity publishing packages to hopeful developers.
 
One thing that is mentioned in the checklist is that you should create a single app for phone and tablets, rather than creating two different versions of your app.
There's still a whole lot of apps that come n regular and HD versions though, just copying over iOS paradigms straight to android (rovio games are a good example). This is particularly annoying when the app is paid, should I be forced to pay for your app twice so I can use it on my phone and tablet? It also makes it difficult to find suitable apps to install, as I might not notice the HD version.
Is there going to be a bigger push to get developers to just release a single version of their apps as suggested?
 
+Philipp Lenssen Still not using the whole screen on my Nexus 7. For tablets, most of them should be 1280x800 16:9, 1280x800 10.1" (Asus transformer, Xoom, Galaxy Tab, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer), 1280x800 16:9 7" (Nexus 7), or double the res for the newer 10.1s.
Also I found the 24sec not nearly enough to build the tower. Maybe providing a way to adjust the time for beginners/normal/experts? Also, have you thought about allowing the computer to be one of the players (and no, training for one is not what I'm referring)? That will make it usable for individuals too and increase distribution. I also found distracting pulsating the graphics during the count down. 

After fixing the most glaring issues, try to get your app reviewed by +Android Central +Android Police +Phandroid Android and me, Android Community, Droid Life, etc.. Assuming good reviews, that is why I said after fixing issues, that is a good method on getting a spike in users. 
 
We need best aps for tablets!!!!!!!! that´s the only thing that android is missing to beat ios and ipad!!!!!!!!

There are rummors that google is teaming with samsung to make a 10 inch nexus. We need tablet specific apps to beat the ass of ipad 3.
 
How can i use the Games Cover in Amazon with an Android app?
Is there any documentation of a Web Service that i can use for that?
I want build a Game Tracker App for the Nexus7.
 
First step is to transfer Activities to Fragments ... Are there plans to make tabbed paging a standard ActionBar interface, decouple ViewPager from the support libraries, or improve ViewPagerAdapter FragmentTransaction behavior?
 
Google Wallet works for nexus only. Atleast in India.Being top downloader of Android Apps.I cant buy Apps. Android optimizations for all types of screens is a must. The way J2ME apps were Available.For as many screen types possible.
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