Tablets, Security Not Cutting It

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-04-19 Print this article Print


5. The tablets aren't cutting it

Although the tablet market is still in its early stages, the Android-based tablets that are already available to customers just aren't cutting it. The Motorola Xoom has been totally unable to compete with the iPad 2. And the same can be said for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Dell Streak. Granted, many more Android-based tablets are on the way, but considering more than 50 million tablets will ship this year and analysts believe the iPad 2 will account for the lion's share of those devices, it might be time for Google to figure out how it can make Android-based tablets more relevant in that marketplace.

6. Making 'Honeycomb' live up to the hype

When Google unveiled Android 3.0 "Honeycomb," just about everyone was excited. The platform offers full tabbed browsing, improved multitasking and a slate of features that, on paper, makes iOS look obsolete. The only issue is, "Honeycomb" is a bit "buggy," according to some users. Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry went so far as to say in March that the operating system is "extremely complicated and confusing." He noted freezing problems, battery issues and other quirks that will need to be addressed. If "Honeycomb" is going to lead Google's tablet charge, the company better get to work on fixing it.

7. It's still not iOS

Google and Android fans might not want to hear it, but Android is still not on the same level as iOS. The operating system is undoubtedly getting closer by the minute, and with a fully improved "Honeycomb," it might be able to overcome iOS, but for now, it lacks the polish that Apple's operating system offers. Moreover, it doesn't deliver the same level of usability that customers are after. If Google can overcome that issue, it could finally put the threat Apple poses to rest.

8. Security considerations

Last month, Google was forced to remove several applications from the Android Market after they were found to contain malware. Worst of all, they were believed to be downloaded over 250,000 times. Google remotely removed the malicious apps from users' devices, but it did little to help the platform's standing in the security space. Several developers, including Lookout and others, have developed Android security apps to help users confront Android security issues. So far, no major problems related to those tainted applications have come to light. But if Google should do anything, it's start addressing security concerns now. The last thing it needs is to turn out like Microsoft Windows in the desktop market.

9. The Android Market

Android application developers have criticized Google's Android Market over the past several months for failing to give them the same ability to generate revenue from their programs as in Apple's App Store. Angry Birds maker Rovio has been the most outspoken. The company's CEO said back in December that "everyone would agree the payment and purchase experience [on Android] has been less than excellent." Google recently launched an in-app billing service to help quell some of the unrest, but it's still a problem. The Android Market needs to be as developer-friendly as possible. Right now, developers aren't giving Google high marks in this area.

10. Getting the enterprise to care

The corporate world is a difficult market to break into for any company. It's notoriously averse to change, and even when it does opt for a new technology, it takes forever to make that jump. That's part of the reason Android has had some trouble appealing to the enterprise. But some of the blame can also be placed on Google, which simply hasn't done enough to deliver all the features enterprise users care about. The company's mobile operating system is decidedly consumer-focused. If Google wants Android to be a long-term, dominant success, it will have no choice but to work with vendors and deliver a far more enterprise-friendly option. 

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to clarify the Motorola tablet that is competing against the iPad. It's the Motorola Xoom.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel