Google’s Hugo Barra: Android tablets have ‘been lagging,’ but change is coming

“The market for Android tablets is exploding,” Nathan Olivarez-Giles reports for The Verge.

“From the end of 2012 to the end of this June, Android tablet activations jumped from 10 million to 70 million. Nearly one in every two tablets sold nowadays runs Android, Google says,” Olivarez-Giles reports. “And of all the Android tablets sold over the last year, more than 10 percent were Google’s Nexus 7, elevating the small slate to blockbuster status for the Nexus line. But as big as the growth spurt is, Android tablets still lag behind Apple’s iPads — not only is there an undeniable lack of compelling tablet apps, Google executives say hardware needs to step up, too.”

Olivarez-Giles reports, “In what’s becoming an annual tradition, Google is insisting that the app situation on Android tablets is improving. And while Android currently offers many great tablet apps — Google+, Pocket, and Flipboard are solid examples — it still can’t come close to matching the number of iPad-tailored apps found on iOS. Popular tools like Twitter, Rdio, Spotify, Dropbox, and Yelp get tablet-specific experiences on the iPad, but their Android counterparts are little more than blown-up phone apps. Hugo Barra, Google’s vice president of Android product management, believes the disparity is shrinking. ‘The absolute position that we’re in is one where well over 60 percent of the apps that you’d expect in a given category are already available with a decent tablet UI,’ Barra tells The Verge. While 60 percent is better than nothing, it’s far from 100 percent.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hugo, define “decent.” Betcha it doesn’t come close to Apple’s definition.


  1. Google and their bitch Samsung really annoys the heck out of me. Both talk as of they both created and innovated this market. Specially the iPhone era. They look stupid from people who knows the true innovator in the category. It’s only the clueless minions that worship these ripoff artist with their asses in the air to take as much of their fist without lube! lol

      1. Ok here on the gadget show they rated the new Sony pretty close and in the street it was split about 60/40 to the iPad but people loved the Sony’s lightness. So lets not be too compacent or it will be another iPhone situation.

        1. No it won’t. Android is only popular in the phone space because carriers pimp it via SPIFF hungry sales drones, not because of consumer preferences. The same thing can’t happen in the tablet space because there won’t be a large number of people willing to sign 2 year contracts.

          1. There is a second reason, I just helped my brother in law pick out a phone for his teenage daughter. Ended up with an LG from Walmart because:
            It was $199 with no contract
            $30/month got her unlimited text and data (Tmobile)
            It had “wifi calling” (calls made while in wifi are routed via wifi and are not charged against your minutes)

            If / when Apple wants to address this market I have no doubt they can / will dominate (his daughter wanted an iPhone but was “ok” with the LG, interestingly she didn’t want a samsung “because derps carry samsungs” (“derps”?? don’t know, didn’t ask))

            1. Asked the niece,
              A “derp” is someone who looks or acts “dorky” or “geeky”, social ineptitude, lack of coolness and or presence.

        2. If you’re talking about The Gadget Show in the UK, they have long displayed an anti-Apple agenda and have done many hit pieces against Apple or their products. They frequently point to alternative devices which they claim are as good or better than particular Apple devices. Oddly enough, those alternative devices always seem to fade from view pretty rapidly.

          I work in TV and often do Vox Pops interviews in the street. You can tell any story you want by asking leading questions and selecting the answers that you want. Vox Pops are essentially meaningless. I worked on one story where they were trying to show how bad a restaurant chain was. Rather inconveniently for the agenda, the views from the public were mostly positive and so were almost entirely left out of the edited programme, but the three people who were critical were featured prominently, while the positive comments that were included from other people were selected to come from people who you wouldn’t like. In effect they implied that only stupid people liked that place.

          1. I would add that when I said I worked on a story where they were trying to make a restaurant look bad, I didn’t mean The Gadget Show team, but the producers of the restaurant programme I was working on. Being selective with quotes from Vox Pops is a fundamental tool used by people with an agenda and is very widely used to distort the truth.

            1. Interesting topic, I have a serious question: how do you reconcile the deception you participate in? Does it cause you any moral qualms at all, or do you chalk it up to: ” it’s my job”. Not trying to be a smart as, it is a serious you define the agenda or are the assignments given to you with a clear understanding of the desired outcomes?

            2. @ Truth

              My job is on site at the point of the recording. Editing is done afterwards by other people. I have no input over the editing process and the only knowledge I have of what the finished programme is like is if I manage to see it once it’s aired.

              The director ( and producer ) are the ones who shape the programme. Mostly they are reasonable people, but you sometimes encounter ones who have their own views and wish to shape a story to reinforce their views. Working to an existing agenda is common in the written press too. You can often predict how a given newspaper will report certain stories and that others will tell that same story quite differently.

              As we always work freelance, it’s normal to work with people you’ve never worked with before and you don’t necessarily become aware of any agenda until afterwards.

    1. Copiers = intense ‘competition’.

      No. This is a seriously deranged perception.

      Competitors CREATE competing technology. They don’t RIP OFF the creative companies. Ripoff companies are called “PARASITES”, not ‘competitors’.

      Therefore, have fun with your parasite Android gear. Keep in mind that it would not EXIST without Apple, the neck upon which the parasites SUCK.

      Thus: Google and Samsung SUCK. They don’t compete.

  2. What do you guys have against Linux? Linux never tried to directly compete against Apple, we simply wanted an alternative to corporate operating systems. In fact, some of us are anti-Microsoft, so we are pretty much on the same team. If anyone should get hate, it should be Google and Microsoft, not the many developers of Linux.

    1. What a strange world we are in!
      If I don’t agree with someone, I am a hater?
      If I frankly don’t are about Linux one way or the other, I am a hater?
      Nothing against you, but that word is the most over-used buzz word in the world these days.

    2. I have nothing against Linux. As a matter of fact, I have used it for some of my projects including my XBMC media center. It has been nice watching it progress over the years.

      However, be cautious of the Canonical corporation. They seem to be dictating the direction Ubuntu goes nowadays.

      Lastly, yes, I have a deep seeded hate for Google. I used to hate Microsoft equally as much but, now, they seem like a wounded dog and I find myself pitying them sometimes.

    3. Nothing at all against Linux, but I do get irritated with people who blather on about “open” vs “closed” referring to Apple and then point out how android is “open” when this is a lie, and Apple is “closed”. Android is only “open” in the sense it is trivial to write malware for it and it has over 95% of all mobile malware, while it is very locked down on actual handsets sold to consumers and very hard to upgrade for the vast majority of Android phones.

  3. A funny thing happened over the course of this century in personal computing.

    Initially, applications (“programs”) were all-important. The Windows PC platform had most of the apps, and the Mac had difficulty competing.

    Then, the web took over. People were doing things on web sites more and more, and applications became less important, except for one, the web browser. As long as the platform had a good web browser, the advantage of having more apps mattered less and less. Apple released Safari, and the Mac platform prospered.

    During Year Two of iPhone, Apple turned the tables and made apps relevant again, on mobile devices. On devices with small screens, a specialize “native” app provides a far better user experience compared to a web site in a generalized browser, even if that web site is designed for mobile devices. Apple now had the “app advantage,” at least for small mobile devices.

    Then, Apple released iPad, and extended its advantage in apps to a larger screen. All the iPhone apps would run on iPad, but developers quickly upgraded their apps to take advantage of the larger screen. Tablets are the “personal computers” of the future.

    This time, Apple has the “app advantage,” and the “other platform” is the one crying that it doesn’t matter so much because

    “The absolute position that we’re in is one where well over 60 percent of the apps that you’d expect in a given category are already available…”

    1. “The absolute position that we’re in is one where well over 60 percent of the apps that you’d expect in a given category are already available…”
      I.e., there’s a 1 in 3 likelihood the app you want isn’t there.

  4. Where are all these android tablets? I don’t think I’ve dpseen one yet except for those ereaders. I wonder how far they lowered the bar to call something a tablet?

  5. It’s funny for selling so many tablets, I never see anyone using one all I ever see are iPads. The usage statistics seem to support this, people who buy android powered devices don’t use them. Every time they publish mobile web usage statistics iOS has 80-90 percent marketshare.

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