ANDROID TABLETS NOT DESIGNED primarily to be a phone can't access Android Market and so manufacturers are setting up their own marketplaces.
Both Archos and Toshiba will have app stores for their devices because their versions of the Android OS have not been designed for tablets like theirs. The issue of Android tablets being denied access to that operating system's primary apps market emerged when Google's global product management director for mobiles, Hugo Barra told a media briefing at the company's London offices yesterday that, "If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, Froyo is not optimised for tablets."
While Toshiba is yet to set up its website, Archos' apps site, Applibs, has had 5,000 apps posted on it in less than six months. But Archos told The INQUIRER that apps related to GPS, its Compass app and phone features will not work on its products. The company promises a maximum 48 hour approval process for Applib on submitted apps, with the developer getting 70 per cent of any subsequent revenues. At IFA it launched a range of Internet tablets from 2.8-inch in size up to a 10.1-inch model. Archos told The INQUIRER that it is working with Google on future developments but would say no more.
IFA also saw Toshiba launch its Folio 100 Android tablet. "We are also developing our own Toshiba Market Place, which will feature a wide range of applications optimised for the Folio 100 [tablet]'s display, as the Android Market is currently limited to smartphones," Toshiba told The INQUIRER today, adding, "Consumers can download applications optimized for the Folio 100 screen size via App Place, which is available within Toshiba Market Place. There will be a selection of applications available at the Folio 100's launch."
The other tablet launched at IFA, Samsung's Galaxy Tab, is said by the Korean company to be able to access Android Market. It told The INQUIRER its tab could access android Market because, it said, "The Tab is marketed as a phone/handset so has all the same capabilities as the Android phones on the market - there aren't any apps you can't use."
Yet the creation of the Archos and Toshiba app sites suggest that it will be some time before Google has a tablet specific OS. At IFA Samsung mobile telecommunications president JK Shin said that a tablet larger than his company's 7-inch Galaxy Tab will be launched in 2011 and that it will use the tablet optimised Google OS Android 3.5, also known as Honeycombe.
The Samsung Honeycombe tablet will no doubt also be able to access the Android Market but when The INQUIRER asked Google about Shin's statement it replied that it doesn't comment on rumours. So there you go, a Samsung president spreads rumours says Google. We know who we believe. µ
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