updated 05:25 am EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
Android 2.2 not optimized, waiting for Honeycomb?
LG today stated that it has dropped it plans for an Android 2.2 Optimus-branded tablet. A company spokesperson stated that LG had been in discussions with Google about what was the most appropriate OS for a tablet moving forward, and it was decided that Froyo was not the best choice. Android 3.0, which is nicknamed Gingerbread is a possibility, but LG’s chief competitor Samsung has hinted in a slip that Android won’t be properly optimized for tablets until Honeycomb. With Gingerbread due this fall at the earliest, this news could push LG’s entry into the tablet market well into next year.
In Electronista’s first hands on with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab we expressed surprise at how much of the core Android 2.2 OS remained in the final shipping build on the device, expecting it to have been more optimized for use on a tablet. For example, when in landscape orientation we noted that the small onscreen keyboard left a blank space on each flank. It has been suspected that Samsung’s choice of a seven-inch screen was primarily dictated by the very lack of OS optimization that has led to LG’s decision to wait for Google to deliver a better Android OS alternative for the tablet form factor.
While the version of iOS running on Apple’s iPad is largely similar to that running on the iPhone, it is has been customized to deliver a user experience that is much more of a cross between a smartphone and a laptop. To highlight the differences between the iPhone and the iPad on launch, Apple had a number of apps that it had either written specifically for the iPad on launch, or had re-written, in order to take advantage of its larger screen real estate. It remains to be seen whether this lack of differentiation between Android 2.2 on a smartphone and the way it operates on the Galaxy Tab will hinder it sales in any way.
Prior to today’s announcement, LG had indicated its planned iPad and Galaxy Tab competitor would be ready this fall. The delay is an embarrassment for LG, who had boldly claimed that their Android tablet would be more productive than Apple’s when it was planned to launch, running Froyo. The news that the LG Froyo-based tablet has been cancelled follows the recent departure of LG's CEO Nam Yong who resigned taking responsibility for LG’s poor phone sales.