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. 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.

  2. In what’s becoming an annual tradition, Google is insisting that the app situation on Android tablets is improving

    Really. A better way to put it is that the proliferation of malware Trojan horse apps for Android is ‘improving’, at an alarming, exponentially increasing rate.

    From June 26, 2013:
    Malware infestation running amok on Android

    The growth of malware apps targeting users of Google’s mobile operating system rose an unbelievable 614 percent in just the last year…. More than 500 third-party Android stores host the malware…. Android is responsible for 92% of all known mobile malware. An increase from 47% in 2012…. 77% of Android threats could be largely eliminated today if all Android devices had the latest OS. Currently only 4% do….

    1. As I’ve previously stated Android malware is all hyped up

      Most malware actually comes from side-loading apps(i.e installing apps from unknown sources). Sticking to the playstore reduces the risk tremendously.

      The numbers you show are from people who specifically go into the wild in search of malware threats. As I’ve always said, there can be a million malware threats but if they can’t get to the user then they aren’t effective.

      Android Malware problems shouldn’t be taken lightly but it also shouldn’t be exaggerated.

      1. I call BS on this one. Its true that most Android users do not currently have malware, but most Android users also DO NOT INSTALL APPS. The attachment rate for iPhones is well above 15 apps per device. I have seen reports putting the number closer to 100.

        The malware problem on iPhones is non-existant and the malware problem on Android is rapidly and exponentially getting worse. It will not be long before every single phone will have to come with virus checkers and need to updated frequently, and Android will resemble Windows XP. Or likely far worse.

        This means in practical terms it will not be safe to use banking, or any secure transactions on an Android phone. And given that these phones can track your calls, communications and location, the implications are even far more scary.

        But by all means keep telling yourself there’s no problem. Go ahead.

      2. As I’ve proven via multiple articles linked here at MDN: Android malware has not been hyped up. It has been proven to be in all the 500+ Android app stores, including Googles. It has been proven to have increased by over 600% in the last year. It has been proven to be over 90% of all mobile platform malware.

        This is getting REALLY old ‘green’. Give in to the data. It’s a lot more useful than vague personal statements. No exaggeration required.

  3. The smartphone market should be an eye-opener in underestimating Android. This are warning signs that the tablet market could undergo an Android take-over. There was a time when most Android users kept their iPads but the situation is changing as the Android tablet market matures.

    The 1st Android tablets were just blown up Android smartphones but nowadays the tablet has differentiated itself with attractive functionality that takes advantage of the bigger canvas.

    iPads have the advantage in apps but this will not be enough as the smartphone market showed us.

    If Apple still want to enjoy their advantage in the tablet market they should sit down and re-think the iPad, a retina screen and an attractive design are not enough. They shoud look at new functionalities and capabilities, make the iPad more maximum and be more aggressive about it. If they don’t Android will and the smartphone scenario will repeat itself.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.