A high-ranking Google exec has gone on record as stating that Android 2.2 (Froyo) is optimized for smartphones – not tablets.
“Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it [is] already running on tablets,” Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google, told Tech Radar.
“But the way Android Market works is it’s not going to be available on devices that don’t allow applications to run correctly. [Now], which devices do, and which don’t will be unit specific, but Froyo is [definitely] not optimized for use on tablets.”
According to Barra, Android market apps “just wouldn’t run” on a tablet-oriented platform, as Froyo was simply “not designed for that form factor.”
“We want to make sure that we’re going to create a application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have [the] right experience,” he added.
Meanwhile, Brad Linder of Lilliputing noted that Google has yet to give the official go ahead for any hardware manufacturer to install the Android Market app on a device that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements.
“[This] basically means you need to have a device with an accelerometer, WiFi and phone capabilities.
“That’s why the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak both have Android Market access and the Archos 101 and Augen GenTouch78 don’t. The former have 3G modems and the ability to make phone calls. The latter don’t.”
However, Linder emphasized that future iterations of Android (such as Gingerbread or Honeycomb) will likely support tablet form factors.
“I’d be shocked at this point if Google didn’t respond to the huge demand for Android tablets by finally pushing a tablet friendly version of the operating system by the end of the year…But I don’t really think Google is going to be happy about it.
“Pushing a version of Android that isn’t exclusively for phones could be all it takes for Chrome OS to be DOA. Who needs a web-browser based operating system when you’ve already got an always-on, light weight mobile OS that includes its own Webkit-based browser and the ability to run tens of thousands of third party native apps?”