Today Google Play is rolling out some previously announced changes that make it even easier for tablet users to discover great apps and games. Make sure your app is taking full advantage of these changes. 

First, users browsing Google Play on a tablet now see the "Designed for tablets" section as the default view in top lists, to better highlight the apps and games that look great on tablets. Tablet users can still switch the view so they can see all apps or games if they choose.

Second, apps and games that do not meet the “Designed for tablets” criteria are marked as “Designed for phones” for users browsing the Play Store on their tablets.

To check whether your app can be included in the "Designed for tablets" section, go to the Developer Console to check your tablet optimization tips. If you see any issues listed, you’ll need to address them in your app and upload a new binary for distribution. When there are no more issues listed, your app is eligible for the “Designed for tablets" view (normal ranking and filtering still apply).

Every day thousands of Android developers are taking advantage of the tremendous Android tablet opportunity. The flood of new users coupled with the increased screen size means new user experiences, more engagement, and more monetization opportunities for your app.

Building great tablet apps:

Designing for tablets? We’re here to help!: goo.gl/pR4oyY
Tablet Quality Checklist: goo.gl/A4GfEP
Devices and Displays: goo.gl/AYslCh
Multipane Layouts: goo.gl/jlSXTd
Developer Stories: Android Tablets: goo.gl/DG82O2
Tablet changes in Google Play:  goo.gl/LvSNzK

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66 comments
 
Nothing changed since the store is blocked here, make it globaly opened so we can judge.
Thnx
 
It says my app isn't designed for tablets because I target an older version of Android, which I do to both maximize my target audience (I myself have a gingerbread tablet) and get the menu button permanently on screen, which I need.

This determination is false, as it was not only designed for tablets, but I've even been told by my users that they bought a tablet just for my app.
 
Please send those guides to Android KitKat 4.4 developers.
Settings apps now using a phone layout which is really bad on Nexus 10.
Clearly don't meet anymore your own "Designed for tablets" criteria. 
 
I hope Android will provide API so apps can work better and interact with floating keyboard. 
 
+Tanya Myoko why do you have a gingerbread tablet still furthermore what's the name of your app?

Update: you could redesign it to improve on the user experience and make use of the action bar perhaps
 
+Tanya Myoko have you updated for kit kat yet?

Maybe try including full screen immersive mode in your app for updated devices and see if that works as you have all kinda of things going on in your app. 
 
+Anthony Garrett you ignored what I said since it has a link to my app and the action bar is clearly not suited for it

Why do I have a gingerbread tablet? Cause a lot of my users have one
 
+Bryan Walker the menu button is required. And using full screen mode wouldn't help for anything other than kitkat
 
+Tanya Myoko right but it makes sense they wouldn't include your app for tablets if you think about it, gingerbread is a phone os and not a tablet is so specifically targeting gingerbread wouldn't work with tablet guidelines. 
 
No that doesn't make sense since there are gingerbread tablets. And that version was specifically targeted cause I NEED the menu button that they removed in ICS
 
If your app is not designed for modern tablets then it isn't going to get flagged as a tablet optimised app.  I'm not sure why you find that so surprising.
 
+Tanya Myoko You're fully convince that you are right, but you need to accept the reality that Google is not going to make a special exception for just you. Be pragmatic; either put the menu options somewhere else in your app, or add your own control to show the options menu. If you don't you're never going to be in Tablet optimized categories.
 
+Todd Yates because it IS designed for modern tablets. The menu button is to make up for flaws in modern tablets that older ones don't have. I've had to make other enhancements specifically for kitkat alone. Is kitkat not modern?

+Riley Brewer I'm not asking them to make exceptions for me, I'm saying their classification is wrong altogether. A tablet is not defined by what version of Android it runs on. 

"Be pragmatic; either put the menu options somewhere else in your app"

Where? I linked you to my app. By all means, fix the problem.
 
+Tanya Myoko there are so few Gingerbread tablets it is negligible, all you have to do is look at platform distribution numbers. Gingerbread is dying, let it die. Action bar sherlock, compatibility library and many other user developed tools will allow you to bring your app up to API 19 without leaving your API 12 users behind. 
 
I don't really understand what your menu button issue is, to be honest. Happy to make suggestions if you can explain it. I wasn't able to identify any menu button on the Play Store listing screenshots.
 
" I wasn't able to identify any menu button on the Play Store listing screenshots."

That's cause the entire point of the program is a different style of UI. They are taken on a device without the android menu bar (a gingerbread tablet that has a real menu button). And then a bunch of screenshots edited into a single picture. Each part of a screenshot occupies the entire screen, there is no room to stick a menu button in. And would require redesigning each of those screens. Not just to add the menu button, but other buttons Android removed.

+Brad Gogats actually no, it's not negligible. Nor is it reasonable to suggest I lock ANY of them out, simply cause of a retarded rule, when they run the app just fine. 

"Action bar sherlock"

Did you even check the app? That's a stupid suggestion! IT DOESNT FIT! The menu button however, does. Perfectly. It doesn't waste any space. I need all of it. Don't make stupid suggestions without actually checking the app. As I said, it's not a one size fits all situation, sherlock. The menu button however is. So why should I remove it?
 
Then stop bitching. But with a billion devices and over 50% on Jelly Bean trust me it is negligible for Google. I don't think anyone is losing any sleep over an app aimed at Gingerbread, a phone OS not a tablet OS. 
 
 "Then stop bitching. "

Practice what you preach.

"But with a billion devices and over 50% on Jelly Bean trust me it is negligible for Google."

Over 50% leaves at least 49%, that's not negligible. Nor is it logical to lock a single one out for stupid reason like that. Especially when targeting that version is required to get the menu button, which is as I said, required. The action bar is not suitable/is a stupid suggestion.

"I don't think anyone is losing any sleep over an app aimed at Gingerbread, a phone OS not a tablet OS. "

1) There are gingerbread tablets
2) Designed for tablets doesnt mean "not designed for phones"

None of you have given valid reasons.
 
If you target API 13 you will go the action overflow button as a navigation button even when you hide the action bar. I wanted to have this option for when targetting API 14 and above but the options menu possibility disappeares completely when I hide the actionbar to have more space. That made everything so complicated. Also, my SGS3 has a hardware menu button and I hate apps that make NOT use of it, like googles own camera app. I agree that considering all that became a PITA. 
 
So if you target API 13 you should still have the menu option on devices that do not have a physical menu button, but being able to be listed as tablet compatible, because android 3 was an actual, official tablet os, while gingerbread wasn't.
 
It doesn't show up in categories. I wonder why.
 
+Tanya Myoko if you target api 13 it will run fine on older versions and you don't need to use api 13 features. But it might get you listed in the designes tablets section. It will always be available for phones as well.
 
In theory you want your app to be optimised for phones and tablets so I don't think people are really thinking that this is for tablets only, especially because it is gingerbread focused. The train why you didn't see a nexus branded gingerbread tablet was....
Because they weren't focused on tablets at the time and when they were it was called honeycomb, granted you will say they're was no official nexus honeycomb tablet but the zoom was that kinda.

You got a lot going on in your app and people seem to really like it from the contents I read, but honestly Google had a design pattern they would like you to follow and not following that purposefully is no fault of their or anybody else's suggestions hand been made and you shoot them down which I would guess is how you feel about the design patterns in the first place, but it is kind crazy to bash which programs they feature as tablet friendly when you don't even want to follow the guidelines. It should have been expected by you really. 
 
Until you guys manually approve apps entering the play store, the tablet apps will remain poor. Why does Facebook app show up as designed for tablets?
E Kawas
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+Prajwal Bellakka the Facebook app is designed for tablets... Designed to grind them to a halt and destroy performance!
E Kawas
 
+Tanya Myoko I haven't seen your app and dont want to argue, but have you considered a sliding drawer? Most google apps use them.
 
+Tanya Myoko what I see from the screenshots is that you have plenty of room to design and include an LCARS style menu button. Why should you provide an LCARS interface and don't include its settings into the LCARS itself? It sure means that you have to redesign a whole portion of it, but your app is not free and not that cheap either. So personally I would suggest you do a favor to your paying customers and add one that fits into the design.
I fully agree that all suggestions here about sherlock, actionbarcompat or navigation drawer are not suitable in your case.
But you HAVE space enough to include a settings button that fits your style I'm sure.
 
+David Kunzler there is settings in the app. When you press the menu button. No there isn't any more room
 
+Tanya Myoko When I'm home I will try it on my tablet and perhaps come up with some edited screenshots for you. Will try out the whole user experience.
 
This discussion just shows why we can't have nice things and media pointing out how platform lacks tablet apps. 

Google certified devices with Play Store access started with Honeycomb and above. Rest is hacked together and without official Store support. So anomalies like GB tablets should adhere to Store guidelines/rules and not vice versa. 
 
+Tanya Myoko What happens on a device with no hardware menu button? You get the software menu button on the screen because you target api < 14, right? So apparently there is enough space to do exactly that when targetting a higher version. Why don't you just do that in software, when you have no hardware menu button on the device?
 
+Sascha Hlusiak that's exactly why I use the menu button in the bottom bar. Its there on devices without hardware buttons and takes absolutely no space from the app and I need every pixel
 
+Tanya Myoko yes, so why not target api 13? You'd still get the same button at the bottom but get certified for tablets. Or add the button yourself, with the exact number of pixels and target 19 or whatever. I don't see any reason why you could not handle these situations. Solutions have been pointed out for you.
 
Will targeting a higher version prevent a single person who paid for the app from getting updates?

Adding the button myself costs pixels no matter what size it is.
 
No the targetSdk property will not preventing updates. Only the minSdk property.
 
You will lose pixels anyway on devices with hardware buttons but no hardware menu button. How does that look? You'd get a big ugly extra bar at the bottom.

And targetting a higher version does not break anything for old devices.
 
+Tanya Myoko your "tablet app" is not the kind of "tablet apps" Google wants to promote with this. You either update your app to met their requirements or you live with the fact that your app will be a little harder to find in the Google Play Store.
Also, Gingerbread tablets provide the worst tablet user experience.
 
"You will lose pixels anyway on devices with hardware buttons but no hardware menu button"

+Sascha Hlusiak no I don't, cause it puts the menu button on a bar that's there either way

+Mathieu Méa given I've sold them tablets from my app, yes it is.

"Also, Gingerbread tablets provide the worst tablet user experience."

Mine was fine. In some ways superior to my Nexus 7 (for some reason, typing in the web browser is a pain, and it does not like my home wifi. It disconnects from it on a regular basis, where my Galaxy Tab did not)
 
+Tanya Myoko what bar are you talking about? the bar with navigation buttons like back and home is only there when the device has no hardware buttons and therefor only software buttons, like the recent nexus devices. But there are devices that have hardware buttons, no software navigation buttons and no menu button. That's when there is a difference in pixels.
 
"what bar are you talking about? the bar with navigation buttons like back and home is only there when the device has no hardware buttons"

Exactly. That space is considered "wasted" already. Using that for the menu button is perfect. It takes no space from my app. That's where it should be on EVERY app, not taking up valuable usable space

"But there are devices that have hardware buttons"

Yes, and on those I use the menu button
 
There are devices with hardware keys but without menu button. That space could be nicely used. But welcome to device fragmentation. :-/
 
+Tanya Myoko What +Sascha Hlusiak meant was that there are devices with hardware buttons but without a hardware menu button (HTC One IIRC). On these devices your app will show an additional black bar just for your menu button.
 
+Tanya Myoko it's not about what you or I think what's the best tablet user experience, it's about what Google think is the best tablet user experience.
I don't know which market you're targeting with Gingerbread tablet apps but it's certainly not North America nor Europe because nobody uses Gingerbread tablets there.
 
Yeah thats great, but when are you going to update the list of apps designed for tablets. You people both suck and blow. If i was working at google wed be living in a better world for all devs. 
 
+Android Developers awesome. Now please remove facebook from the designed for tablets section, until their app is , in fact, designed for tablets.
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+Android Developers , now we just need an option in settings so we can choose which view/page to start with when we open Play Store app: default, Apps, Games, Books, etc.
I never search for books on Play Store, and rarely search for games, but I always search for apps - therefore it makes sense that Play Store app starts on the page called Apps instead of having me to constantly having to click the Apps button every time I want to do a search.
This is a pretty simple thing to have in settings that will help a lot. 
 
+Fadi Moussa not going to happen because Google wants you to search for books and games on Google Play (instead of searching books and games on a the competition stores).
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hi, anyone developed apps and then tried to publish on amazon without first testing for all kindle fire models? what a nightmare, especially if you don't have the actual device to test on. 

granted, amazon have made it pretty easy to get their emulator up and running but if your developing machine just makes the required specs, things can turn ugly! slow is not the word to use, it's more like eternity, and then when it seems to be working, for some unknown reason it crashes and you have to start from scratch.

then when you submit your app, you wait a few days for the approval but instead you get a rejection letter! so you make the changes and re-submit, a few days later and another rejection letter, and so it goes. frustrating hours trying to test the app on the emulator and then waiting days for approval after submission. then finally...the approval email! but...for some reason it failed to make it to the appstore developer select program. o well, back to some more testing....

what I've learned from this is to follow the amazon kindle fire submission guideline and have a look at their kindle fire development resources as well.
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