When discussing whether or not there should be apps built specifically for tablets, Android chief Andy Rubin noted that “the Twitter phone app works fine on a tablet.”
In this case, I can’t determine if “works fine” is code for “looks like shit” or “‘meh’ is good enough”. Either is absolutely the wrong attitude and perhaps speaks a bit to why Android is doing so poorly in the tablet space.
iPhone apps running on the iPad also “work fine” but I think everyone will agree that they look like shit. If the iPad only ran iPhone apps scaled-up, there’s no question in my mind that sales would be a fraction of what they are. It’s the apps that are custom tailored for the new form factor that make it magical.
While the ability of a tablet to run any app is a nice fallback, it’s more of a marketing ploy. It was a genius way to get people buying the iPad originally (“look, I have all these apps that already work!”), but Apple was quick to make sure that developers got on board with building custom iPad apps as well.
Again, those are the key. It sure doesn’t seem like Rubin gets that. Of course, he’s in a tough position since there are so many different form factors for Android. Big tablets, small tablets, mini tablets, big phones, small phones, huge ass phones. How does one custom tailor for all those sizes?
But I’m sorry, “meh” isn’t good enough. “Works fine” isn’t good enough.