Canalys: Half of top iPad apps unavailable or not optimized for Android

Canalys researchers highlight a potentially major gap in the Android ecosystem.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Android continues to claim more of the mobile operating system market share for both the domestic and international markets, but there could still be a major problem holding the ecosystem back.

According to a new report from Canalys on Wednesday, roughly half of the top apps designed for the iPad were found to be either unavailable or not optimized on Android.

Specifically, analysts found that 30 percent of the top 50 paid and free iPad apps in Apple's U.S. App Store were entirely absent from Google Play by the end of the first half of 2013.

There are a few exceptions (especially in the top 15) that can be excused -- namely because they were developed by Apple, such as Pages and Keynote.

But there were even a number of apps made by larger players known to have more resources available, like Disney and Electronic Arts, that were found not to have build native versions at all for Android users.

Another 18 percent were available for Android, but not optimized for tablet screens. The unfortunate result here is a poor user experience.

Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd lamented what could be the obvious argument still: Android still isn't a priority for many mobile developers yet.

Shepherd suggested that the burden here is on Google, rather than the ecosystem of OEM partners, to better build a sense of trust and reliability with developers and consumers alike:

To take the Play ecosystem to the next level, Google needs more than just a large addressable base of devices. App developers need to see clear potential to build robust and sustainable business models around apps built for the platform, so increasing monetization potential must be a priority. And for tablet apps in particular, Google should go further with changes to the Play store to ensure more rigorously managed, high-quality, optimized experiences are highlighted, to the benefit of consumers, and to reward those developers who invest the time and resources in building them with improved discoverability.

To check out the top 50 paid tablet apps, according to Canalys, as of August 15, scroll through the document below:

Canalys: Half of top iPad apps unavailable or not optimized for Android

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