Mobile and tablet apps are worlds apart. The two vary in screen size, user experience, behavior, device usage, and many other aspects. Tablets and smartphones are used differently, and the question of which device and operating system to prioritize over others is a big question for companies when it comes to tablet app development.
Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about android tablet development and tablet app development in general — and why implementing tablet-specific apps can be a huge window of opportunity.
Applications for smartphones and smart tablets are often erroneously grouped into the “mobile application” bucket, as both device types typically share the same architecture and operating systems. In many instances, an Android app intended for smartphones usually also works on an Android tablet. However, smartphones and tablets offer very different opportunities for design, user interface (UI), and user experience (UX) in four ways: screen size, device sharing, user demographics, and usage context.
The primary differences between smartphones and tablets are screen size and orientation. Tablets feature larger screens, allowing them to display text and images at higher resolutions more comfortably.
It’s also critical to remember that unlike a smartphone — which is optimized for and primarily used in portrait mode — most tablets display in landscape mode by default, like a desktop computer or a laptop.
Standard mobile applications simply upscale the user interface of an app intended for a smartphone to fit the tablet’s screen space. In contrast, expert tablet app developers know that simply creating an enlarged version of an app is a waste of screen real estate. To take advantage of the added pixels, you can create an entirely new interface that is custom-made for an android device, which improves the user experience with more functionalities, better resolution, and more touchpoints.
Unlike the primarily personal-use smartphone, the tablet is often treated as a device to be shared and used by more than one person. According to a 2014 study, 54% of tablet owners share their devices with friends and family members.
When developing a tablet application, it’s critical to avoid viewing the tablet platform as just a bigger smartphone. Integrating privacy-enhancing functions such as multiple-user logins and segmenting app data for each user can significantly improve usability.
A 2019 Pew Research study found that 93% of millennials and 90% of Gen-Xers own a smartphone, but only 68% of Boomers do. Tablet ownership rates across all three generations are nearly identical (55%, 53%, and 52%, respectively). This cross-generational similarity suggests that applications intended for tablets have different target audiences than applications for smartphones or general mobile usage.
Most smartphones are used on the go; they’re sufficiently compact for either one- or two-handed design. This factor significantly affects how smartphone application developers approach app design and UI. They must account for the smaller screen size, the user’s inputs, and the increased possibility of accidental or distracted tapping.
Tablets require two hands for comfortable use; one to hold the device, the other to type and access functions. Increasing your tablet application’s functionality by accounting for these ergonomic facts can improve its usability and attractiveness to habitual tablet users.
If you’re considering a cross-platform application, developing a tablet-specific version of your mobile app is your best bet. With UI and UX optimized for the tablet’s larger screen space and unique usage contexts and ergonomics, a fully customized application will be more efficient and responsive.
Users appreciate apps that are optimized and developed specifically for their devices. Sure, developing a tablet-first app is an entirely new project to take on, in addition to your mobile version, but an interface that’s beautifully executed, clean, and organized will enable users to view and navigate your app easily – not only driving more traffic, but improving conversion rates, and engagement with your products and services.
Interested in developing a tablet app with Big Human? Let’s chat.