Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

Summary: One concern many have expressed about the Motorola XOOM is the scarcity of apps in the Android Market optimized for the tablet. This list of apps reflects how the apps I use heavily on the Galaxy Tab work on the XOOM.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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I have spent several days with the Motorola XOOM and I am liking it more the longer I use it. One concern many have expressed about the XOOM in particular and Android Honeycomb in general is the scarcity of apps in the Android Market are optimized for the tablet. This is a valid concern and the biggest adjustment I had to make using the XOOM; some of my favorite apps don't work well.

This list of apps is not comprehensive by any means but reflects whether the apps I use heavily on the Galaxy Tab (running Froyo) work well or not on the XOOM. Each app that doesn't currently work on the XOOM is listed with a brief explanation of what symptoms the app exhibits. I am not addressing widgets in these lists, nor tablet apps in the Android Market (those should work well, right?). These are simply the apps that work well on the Tab.

Apps that work fine

  • Gmail
  • Google Reader
  • TweetDeck
  • Plume
  • Dolphin Browser
  • Thinking Space Pro
  • Pulse
  • Google Books
  • Amazon Kindle

Apps that don't

  • LogMeIn Ignition (force closes)
  • gReader Pro (force closes)
  • NYTimes for tablet (display is terrible)
  • Pocket Information (works OK but display is not very good)

Topic: Mobility

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15 comments
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  • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

    Valid concerns here.....

    The core apps must work and it appears that they do.
    gorkon
    • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

      @gorkon Sorry, but not just the Core Apps. Quite frankly, without trying to sound like a fanboi, it has to "just work" 99.9% of the time.

      If you "buy" (Free or paid) apps that don't work...People (users, not us admins) don't blame the Ap...they blame the device, or the OS. How many times have we heard "Stupid Windows" from a user when some crappy application BSOD's it?

      The XOOM, and Honeycomb in general, just aren't farking ready yet...and consumer's experiences with it will tarnish the Android brand as a whole.

      I picked iOS a while ago...but I want Android to be good too, mostly because any innovation Android brings to the table will mean improvements to iOS as well. If Andriod fails (even if just in the tablet space) it gives Apple no pressure to innovate themselves in iOS and the iPad.
      samalie
      • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

        @samalie nah, won't happen because right now it is enthusiast driven but in a few months it will be the medium of choice.
        slickjim
      • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

        @samalie It doesn't matter because you'll have the device for at least 2 years. We've all seen apps get better over time and we'll have more of them. The software vendors will fix their software because it's in their best interest and consumers know that.

        Both Android and iOS app stores have multiple apps that do the same thing so if one doesn't work find another that does for now. Check back in a few weeks and there will be more apps to choose from. I don't see an issue.
        mrxxxman
  • Do the dozens of recently discovered Android malware apps work on Xoom?

    nt
    Davewrite
  • urgency of quality control

    The consumer market won't tolerate an ecosystem in which failure is a common occurrence. It doesn't matter if the poorly-written code is in the OS, the individual app or the app-OS interface.

    I still don't know who to blame for windows on cell phones, but wow was that painful and the market killed the product.

    We need real competition to spur innovation. Android tablets (rumored and real) keep Apple's feet to the fire. But wouldn't it be nice to actually have a viable product at a viable price? That can't happen until both the OS and the apps don't frustrate the user with poor QC!

    Cheers,

    Dave
    davepowell
    • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

      @davepowell there is nothing wrong with this product and the price is comparable or even a bargain when you add the things you don't get with the ipad 2.
      slickjim
      • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

        @Peter Perry The issue is not about features, or even features per dollar.

        Outside of the tech world that is home to the average ZDNet reader, purchases aren't made on the strength of chip speed, # of cores, camera resolution, SDCard slots and the like.

        Nor is it even about the best whiz-bang software features: hotspot ability, voice control, Google integration.

        It's all about usability, reliability, dependability. Mysterious taskbar tray icons, crashing programs, malware in the Android Market -- these are the things that scare customers.

        Again, I'm making no comment on price point or whether an item is premium/value/bargain. The key driver right now in the market is this: quality control of the user experience.

        Regarding your other point, there is something "wrong" with every product ever created (unless you believe something has reached a Platonic ideal). What we can hope for is a non-Apple tablet that is "right" in compelling new ways without hitting the "wrongs" (above-mentioned) that we know drive users crazy.

        Cheers,

        Dave
        davepowell
      • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

        @davepowell You say, "It's all about usability, reliability, dependability." Well, the iPad and iPhone 4 have had their share of problems and short comings as well. So what? People still bought them, right? Why? Especially the iPhone 4 with it's myriad problems.

        The Xoom has many things that the iPad 2 doesn't that affect things like usability and dependability. Things like a better screen, faster connections (4G), Flash, customizable UI with widgets, HDMI, SD card, better cameras. All these things are not just better specs, but items that actually result in improved user experience and satisfaction.
        mrxxxman
    • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

      @davepowell Stop comparing the ecosystem of Windows to the mobile sector especially with iOS and Android app markets. Very simple now to distinguish fairly good apps from crap apps by just doing a little homework. By simply looking at the user ratings on the app stores you'll know what software to stay away from. That's been more difficult to do with a desktop Windows machine. On a mobile device you have all the info there in your hands to make a knowledgeable decision about what to use on your mobile device.

      personally, I only install software that has a 75% approval rating or better. Have not been disappointed yet, and no malware either.
      mrxxxman
      • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

        @mrxxxman Dear XXX,

        I completely agree with you that the iPad and iPhone 4 have problems -- that?s my whole point! Viable competitors will force Apple to improve their products more quickly, and will inspire competitors to one-up Apple. Consumers win!

        Case in point: Samsung has already announced they are delaying their rollout of their 10-inch Tab because of the iPad 2. They are upping their game to respond to their competition. And when they do come out with their response, Apple in turn will have to push even higher. This is good for everyone!

        And I agree that the Xoom has great hardware, although that?s also one of its weaknesses. The better cams and screen put it at a different price point than iPad. It may well be a ?fair price? for the sum of the components, but gives Motorola a tough row to hoe. The price will drop. Whether Flash dings battery life to the degree it becomes a serious trade-off, well, that?s a flame war rabbit hole down which there is no need to go.

        Regarding Windows, I?m specifically referring to the subsets of Windows CE known as Pocket PC and Smartphone. It?s entirely valid as a comparison. My HP iPAQ was a disaster all around, with plenty of blame for both HP and MSFT.

        No one should have to read through user reviews to find out if an app is buggy or crash-y. Again, don?t give the consumer the option of being disappointed by freezes, crashes, etc. That said, your methodology of checking out app ratings and using a buy-threshold is quite smart!

        Cheers,

        Dave
        davepowell
    • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

      @davepowell
      From reviews, I understand that many/most non-tablet Android apps work with no or few glitches while changing to a tablet display. Android attempted to allow these apps to work on Honeycomb with no modification. There will be failures. Hopefully, app devs test and update quirky quickly. From my understanding, iOS took a different strategy, putting apps developed exclusively for phones in a phone-sized area on the tablet, ensuring that they worked properly but degrading the user's tablet experience.

      For what it's worth, I feel neither strategy is foolproof. I haven't used either iOS or Honeycomb on a tablet, but I have used Froyo and Gingerbread, and I didn't have any significant problems with apps.
      daengbo
      • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

        @daengbo

        Dear Daengbo,

        You're certainly right that the two ecosystems took different approaches, and those approaches really speak to each group's worldview.

        Apple forced the app into a box -- literally -- with the tradeoff that it would "play for sure" (to steal a phrase from MSFT). That choice becomes visible to the consumer in the form of a small box or a 2x zoom with poor resolution.

        As you say, Google went with a no-modification approach that, by definition, allows for a certain percentage of error. That error rate becomes visible to the user in the form of crashes or freezes.

        You are right, neither strategy is foolproof. I am arguing that a tight focus on reducing/eliminating the crashes is an approach less likely to annoy the casual consumer.

        Cheers,

        Dave
        davepowell
  • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

    Null and void. The compatibility library for Android was just released yesterday. Now every app in the market can be tablet optimized while still working on phones with 1.6 and up. That's what ddevs have been waiting on. In the constant rush to repeat anything Steve Jobs says bloggers have completely missed the fact that Google has completely eliminated the idea of tablet only apps. Its a much Beyer scenario for developers. Sorry iFools but you must find something else to troll about.
    storm14k
    • RE: Apps that work and some that don't on the Motorola XOOM

      @storm14k That's correct. The Honeycomb OS has introduced this concept of "fragments" which allow software to be designed in such a way that it's optimized for both tablets and smartphones at the same time. The software will be smart enough to know whether it's being installed on a phone or tablet and the UI will adjust accordingly.
      mrxxxman