Canalys: Why aren't more of the top iOS apps on Android tablets?

If you're looking for the best of the iOS apps on your Android tablet, you may be out of luck, based on the latest App Interrogator research report. Released late last week by Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm Canalys, the study looked at aggregated rankings of tablet apps across both platforms and conducted manual reviews of each app's optimization.

According to the report:

  • 30 percent of the top free and paid iPad apps were absent from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play;
  • 18 percent of the top iOS apps are available in Google Play but not optimized for tablets;
  • 52 percent of the top apps were somewhat optimized for tablet use;
  • Six of the 52 percent available for Android tablets are paid on iOS but ad-supported on Android.

This list of the top 20 paid tablet apps is a sample of research from Canalys showing that half of top iPad apps are either unavailable or not optimized for Android.

"To take the Play ecosystem to the next level, Google needs more than just a large addressable base of devices," said Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd. "App developers need to see clear potential to build robust and sustainable business models around apps built for the platform, so increasing monetization potential must be a priority. And for tablet apps in particular, Google should go further with changes to the Play store to ensure more rigorously managed, high-quality, optimized experiences are highlighted, to the benefit of consumers, and to reward those developers who invest the time and resources in building them with improved discoverability."

There are plenty of studies to suggest that Android and iOS remain in a neck-and-neck race for developer and consumer popularity, but Canalys takes an interesting angle in focusing on the tablet experience. Particularly for mobile games, tablets may represent an area of long-term growth and even monetization among users, so if there's a gap here on Android, it may also represent an opportunity for those developers who make tablet apps a priority. The research also underscores the long-held best practice that just taking a smartphone app and blowing it up on a big screen is not much of a cross-platform strategy.

Based on recent launches from Samsung and Google itself, there's no doubt Android tablet proliferation will continue, but devices are obviously just a first step. As with any other consumer tech category, it will ultimately be all about the apps.

For more:
- see the full Canalys App Interrogator Report here

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