Monday, March 19, 2012

Do tablets need apps to access web content?

There has been a lot of articles lately about the fact that there are far less dedicated Android tablet apps than Apple iPad apps. One of the best substantiated articles on the matter is PC Magazines "The iPad Wins Because Android Tablet Apps Suck: An Illustrated Guide". My own reaction is do we need apps on tablets to view web content?

Okay, a bit of history.

Personal computer behavior. For years we have used personal computers, and for many people their software suite might be as simple as a word processor, photo editor and a web browser. On the personal computers out portal to Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and all our other online resources are the web browser. 

Mobile phone browsing. Despite the fact that modern phone web browsers allow you to pinch and zoom, and many will allow for continuous text re-flow, the world wide web is not designed for a 4.3-inch screen. When I go to Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia on my mobile I use a dedicated app. Even when I view webpages, I actually save it to them to the ReadItLater app for a more pleasant mobile experience.

Here is a Laptopmag article, on my mobile web browser.

Yes, I can zoom in on the text, but the rest of the page elements do not scale down.

 Here is the same article reformatted by ReadItLater.

I think apps for viewing web content on a mobile phone are pretty important.

Tablet behavior. I am not a tablet guy. For my mobile needs I use a Android phone with a large screen and an ultraportable laptop.  When I go to a tablet, my wife's 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, I do not use apps. I use the tablet in the same way I use my MacBook. To access I use the web browser to access Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and other online resources.

So, what do you think? With 7 to 10.1-inch tablets will you use apps or your web browser to visit your Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and other online resources?  

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