Sep 13 AT 5:35 PM Taylor Wimberly 16 Comments

Samsung Galaxy Tab is a teachable moment for Android developers

When the Samsung Galaxy Tab was first introduced, I was worried how normal apps would work with the tablet’s 1024×600 SWVGA resolution. Google has a very strict set of rules for which devices get certified to use the official Android Market and the max resolution that was previously supported was only 854×480.

Thankfully most apps just work on the larger resolution, but I was able to find a handful of apps (like Gamelofe HD titles) that were not optimized for the larger display and this resulted in odd usability issues. These are the types of problems that Google wants to avoid when the Tab launches and Android advocate Tim Bray says that the Galaxy Tab represents a “teachable moment” for developers.

In a post on the official Android Developers Blog, Bray provides a number of tips that should increase the chances of most apps working on the Tab (and other upcoming devices).

Devs who want to test their apps on the Tab will have to wait a little bit longer before they get a chance. Samsung will be providing an add-on including a custom Android virtual device (AVD) and skin as an SDK add-on, to ensure compatibility. A pre-release version is in testing and I expect a final copy should be out before we see the Tab land on U.S. carriers.

If you got some time to burn want to learn why most tablets will not support the Android Market, make sure you check out the Android Compatibility Definition Document (pdf.) for a list of software and hardware requirements that devices must meet in order to be compatible with Android 2.2. There is talk that these requirements might be relaxed a little for future versions of Android (Gingerbread and Honeycomb), so hopefully we will see the official Android Market come to more devices next year.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Lulu

    Does it make calls? If not why do I see the phone app?

    It will make a cool giant Galaxy S phone.

    • http://Website sgb

      That it the app tab not phone tab :-)

      • http://Website sgb

        Ignore me, i just seen the phone icon :-P

    • Dr.Jeckyl

      Yes it will be able to make calls. It has a cell radio in it and both microphones and speakers. Still would look odd up to your face though.

      • http://Website deckrider

        LOL, would be in the “clown phone” category when seen next to ones head!

      • http://Website Daniel

        Just speculation, but it’d make sense not to include a “soft speaker”. You’d have to use it in loudspeaker “hands-free” mode, or with a headset. In the end, it’d be very similar to using a notebook for voice calls.

    • djarnow

      With a Bluetooth it might be OK to use as a phone. Otherwise its a nice toy in my book

    • Sinanovski

      If only they would update those Galaxies to 2.2 pretty soon it would be even better on their part.

  • Peter

    One can currently create a virtual device with an arbitrary screen resolution and pixel density to test an app with parameters that match the Galaxy Tab. One does not have to wait for an official skin or virtual device from Samsung.

    There are also some devices available now that support “non-standard” resolution,s such as the Pandigital Novel (which can be enhanced operate as an Android tablet with a resolution of 800 x 600). This is one way to text an app on a larger screen.

    Tim Bray’s article does a great job of discussing how to avoid issues with larger screens.

    I’m surprised that this is such an issue, since the coming of Android tablets have been proclaimed since the launch of the iPad.

  • http://Website Tony G.

    Flight Control works on high resolutions and looks great. i have it running on my PC with Android installed.

  • Jonathan

    A tablet phone hybrid, could work with hand off option.

  • webdevmike

    My wife will be getting one of these and using it as her primary phone. She plans to carry it around in her purse and use her bluetooth headset for communications.

    I think it’s going to work out really well for her.

  • http://Website RageGuy

    I want a 20 inch Tablet, with phone capabilities so it can look like im holding a pizza box to my face. yelling.

  • atishnis

    Just to put these number in perspective, Apple sells 8M iPhones a quarter. If Samsung really manages to sell 10M Galaxy S by the end of the year, it’ll sell around 30% as many Androids as Apple sells iPhones. Now, apple might increase the iPhone sales rate, but we need to remember that the Galaxy only came out in the second quarter.
    Very impressive achievement for Samsung.

    • http://Website omari at&t rsc

      but iphone is only on at&t…. galaxy is on all four

  • http://Website Jeff

    Samsung has released the add-on: