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Tips on Designing for Tablets, as 1/3 of Online Consumers Will Own a Tablet By 2015|
By Salar Golestanian @ 05 Jan 2011 ::
|It is no secret that Apple enjoys a huge lead in the touch tablet market. The last major accounting put Apple at an incredible 95% market share. This is mainly because the alternative tablet Operating System like Android is not really made for Tablet use. This week we have every other PC manufacturer is rushing to revamp or bring out their own tablet computers. New tablets are expected to dominate at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Forester Research put out a new forecast this week for the growth of tablet computers. Forester expects the number of tablets sold in the U.S. to go from 10.3 million last year to 24.1 million in 2011, and growing to 44 million in annual units sold by 2015. At that point, by 2015 it projects that 82 million people in the U.S. will own some sort of tablet, or a full one third of the online population.
Currently there are a handful of very bad tablets running Android and one relatively good one by Samsung. I have personally tested the Samsung Galaxy Tab VS Apple iPad and found it disappointing. I found that other than webcam that I personally dislike and ability to use flash at the expense of battery life on every other front is very poor indeed. Usability is poor on every front and web experience is much to be desired. You would have to be die hard anti-Apple or may be never having experienced iPad to be convinced by Samsung.
Until the dedicated Tablet version of Android comes out the lead of iPad over Android tablets will continue. Price seems to be the only weapon for Low cost android alternatives. However, Apple could also produce a low cost version to combat the Apple dominance. On the CPU for Tablet's front, AMD confirms that they will be producing Chips for Tablet Market. these Chips are likely to run Windows 7 or Android OS.
Gartner's Latest research also suggests that Apple is best placed to take the lion's share of tablet market in 2011. with complete dominance in the App market. This report earlier in the year also puts iPad to maintain 70.4% of shipments in 2011 and 61.7% in 2012. This means that for Web Designers and Developers, there are only going to be two Operating Systems to consider which is iOS and Android.
How Tablets Affects the Way we Design Websites?
Developer's View for Designing for Tablets is that Tablets are a lot more forgiving to web developers. here are some observations:
- Standard Mobile redirect modules are not ideal as they consider Tablets as standard iOS or Android and push them to small version of the site. Both iPad and Android devices are able to view full size screens. Therefore, we have to develop new redirect modules to ignore iPad.
- iOS does not show Flash, so we ensure we use jQuery type animation or HTML5 alternatives.
- In some areas WiFi or 3G networks are not available. Most of these devices drop to 2.5G or 2.0G network which are extremely slow. Therefore there is still a big need to ensure the page size is as small as possible.
- Apple has slightly tighter control on what goes or doesn’t go on App Store, both in terms of actual content and in making sure applications function as intended on all target hardware. Android Market leaves this up to the developer which is better for Developers. However, some users may find Android Apps less secure. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages but in reality, it has been a lot easier to develop for a single tablet size like iPad than the future fragmented tablet market that have again different screen sizes and other accessibility restrictions.
- It is not a good idea to allow too many accessibility controls on the site. End users prefer to just rotate the tablet to get the best viewing experience rather than look for the accessibility button. iPad is much faster in adapting the page for landscape or portrait mode than any server side control. Modern browsers also allow default zooming. So the only accessibility that one could need is +/- text size override.
- The main method of user interaction with the iPad or Android tablets is going to be fat fingers. Therefore, all those hover effects that were favorable for pointer-based devices, will be a hurdle in user experience on the tablets. Also the links can no longer be concealed in a text and left for the user to try and try to click them. large links with adequate empty space around them is advisable.
There are more tips to add to above, but then it goes deeper in code examples that I like to avoid here. The only thing I like to add is, whilst the world has been divided over Apple's stand on doing away with Flash, we need to understand that the step in the direction has already been taken. Google openly adopting HTML5 for YouTube, Microsoft has gone a long way in accepting it in IE9. Therefore as designers we need to understand this shift and try and learn HTML5 but at the same time doing away with Flash is a good idea. Flash which is old technology, uncontrolled and whilst adobe wants to keep it going, in trying to still run older flash, it crashes browsers even on a desktop PC.
Also see this article here iPad, Android or Slate Tablets for 2011/2012!
Saturday, September 17, 2011 3:43 AM|
Saturday, September 17, 2011 3:49 AM|
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