updated 01:15 pm EST, Fri February 25, 2011
Android 3 tablets have just fraction
Android 3.0 got off to a slow start in the past day as the OS launched with just a small number of tablet apps. A quick check by jkOnTheRun showed just 16 apps that could use the larger screen size. USA Today on Friday became the 17th with a new app that provided much of its news in the widescreen format of devices like the Xoom.
The discovery was possible in part from a new addition to Android Market that singles out tablet-native apps when browsing from one of the devices. A significant portion of the apps are ports of iPad titles.
A scarcity of apps has been a frequent complaint of early adopters. The lack has been blamed mostly on Google's rushed schedule for Android 3.0. It only first hinted at the OS at CES in early January and gave developers the first SDK at the end of the month, giving most developers about four weeks to either develop or port titles over. Companies such as Barnes & Noble have only just begun pledging apps that won't ship until the spring or later.
Without app support, the platform could face an early uphill struggle against the iPad and contrasts sharply with Apple's own approach. Although timed partly due to supply issues, the iPad's January unveiling and April release gave developers more than two months to get started. The iPad shipped with roughly 1,000 fully optimized apps and now has over 60,000 titles.