Google Mobile Product Manager Hugo Barra says Android 2.2 is not the perfect match for the tablet form factor. Good thing Android 3.0, code-named Gingerbread, is. Expect tablets with that future OS in early 2011.
A Google product manager triggered a bit of controversy when he stated the
simple fact that Android 2.2, the current "Froyo" build, is not
optimized for the tablet form factor.
Hugo Barra, director of mobile products for Google, told TechRadar that
Android Market is not going to be available on devices that don't allow
applications to run correctly.
"Which devices do and which don't will be unit-specific, but Froyo is
not optimized for use on tablets," Barra said. "If you want Android
market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run; [Froyo] is just not
designed for that form factor."
That is not to say Froyo won't work on tablets. Samsung, Archos and others
are setting out to prove the point.
Android 2.2 is the current operating system of record for fresh-to-market
tablet computers such as the as-yet-unreleased Samsung Galaxy Tab
and the crop of five Archos tablets
making their way to the U.S. market in
September and October.
Samsung declined to make a statement defending its choice to use Android 2.2
for the Galaxy Tab. However, a spokesperson for the company pointed to the
information about screen sizes from Google's Android developer Website.
Google noted: "Applications do not need to work with the actual
physical size or density of the device screen. At runtime, the platform handles
the loading of the correct size or density resources, based on the generalized
size or density of the current device screen, and adapts them to the actual
pixel map of the screen."
In other words, applications running on Android 2.2-based tablets will work,
even if they won't be perfect for the 7-inch screen of the Galaxy Tab.
Android 3.0, code-named Gingerbread, is expected to remedy
Though a Google spokesperson declined to confirm whether that future
OS build will be optimized for the tablet form factor, Gingerbread is expected
to offer 1280 by 760 resolution
for devices with displays of 4 inches or more.
Gingerbread would seem to pave the way for Android tablets. Indeed, there is
an Android 3.0 tablet
on Verizon's road map for early 2011.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported
(paywall) Sept. 10 that
Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint all plan to offer the Samsung Galaxy Tab
eWEEK has previously reported that Verizon
Wireless was a carrier choice for the Galaxy Tab,
based on evidence spotted
on the carrier's internal systems.
That major U.S.
carriers would sell the Galaxy Tab makes sense. The tablet is an extension of
the Samsung Galaxy S
smartphone line, which contains one Android
2.1-based handset for each of the four major U.S.