Play Store will now show tablet-designed apps by default on tablets

Another reason for developers to consider tablet designs for their apps

Just as was previously announced, the Play Store is undergoing a few changes for those with tablets today. Although it has been an option for some time, when browsing app categories on a tablet you'll now be shown apps that are marked as "designed for tablets" by default. In addition, any apps that haven't been updated to be fully tablet-compatible will be marked as "designed for phones" under their title in the Play Store, giving you a warning of sorts that the app may not work properly.

Google is taking this opportunity to remind developers how to make their apps compatible with tablets, as well as to go above and beyond to make experiences that are preferable on tablets rather than simply compatible. Through the Developer Console you can simple head to the "tablet optimization tips" area and see what is keeping your app from being listed as tablet ready.

Source: +Android Developers

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • Feels like Apples way of shaming developers into doing the right thing. I am not complaining, it worked very well for the iPad.
  • And the best free tablet optimized app is facebook!???? Posted via Android Central App
  • its not the best, just the most downloaded :/
  • I was just going to post that - seriously Google? I just checked Facebook in landscape on my Mom's iPad Mini to be sure. That's tablet. Not so on my N7. Good intentions but doesn't augur well for actually making a difference. :-( Posted via Android Central App
  • I came here basically to post this. When Google built a "designed for tablets" section into the store, I thought, "finally, I'll be able to find some apps that are designed for tablets!" Then I looked at the apps that were in that section... There's a lot that weren't designed for tablets at all, e.g., the Facebook app. How soon before Google starts differentiating apps that actually ARE designed for tablets and streched-out phone-apps?
  • As much as i love my Nexus 7, Google pushing it as their first big time standardized tablet was a mistake as far as proper tablet app development goes. Sent from my Verizon Moto X via the AC app
  • I noticed that as well. They had the original Plants vs Zombies as part of their tablet apps and yet while that app has improved since the original release, it's far from "optimized" for tablets. There is a world of difference between the Android and iPad versions. There is a true tablet HD version (tegra 2 optimized) floating around the interwebs that for some reason never got released here in the USA. The Facebook thing is a joke. I ranted on about it on my own blog a few days ago. Other than the shameless plug (I usually avoid those)I find that the tablet situation on Android has improved tremendously over the last year. Google just needs to use better Q.A. to properly identify the true tablet apps. There are also apps that won't display their tablet interface on the Nexus 7 (I'm looking at you Opentable) but that look great on my TF700. Google should just add a tablet ui toggle in the android settings somewhere since phones and tablets are all going towards 1080p displays. Apologies for the long rant! I'm just an Android fan who wants to see quality on his main platform of choice.
  • IMHO, it's far from the best. Sent from my Verizon Moto X via the AC app
  • This is just in time for all those holiday tablet gifts. I'm surprised they didn't think of this sooner. Hopefully this will spur tablet app development. Posted from my HTC One via AC App
  • Very cool! I'm looking forward ito it when I finally get a tablet. Posted via Android Central App
  • Clearly it's not working, facebook is in no way a tablet optimised apps and it's not even a good phone app so the fact that google thinks this is a tablet optimised app is a joke. Another thing that's wrong is that many apps that are shown in the tablet optimised sectioned show designed for phone when you go into the app detail section. Come on google if you allow crap like this then the tablet situation will take along time to sort itself out. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm a huge android lover and not an ios fan in the slightest HOWEVER... the ipad is king for tablet apps and anyone who tries to say otherwise is clearly on the fanboy wagon or nuts... Android tablet apps have a horrible habbit of just stretching things to fit the screen or shuffling it about a bit but being clunky. I'd love for developers to pull their finger out and start making decent tablet apps but until that happens from an app perspective... the ipad is king.
  • It's not Android tablets that have the habit to stretch out apps but it's the developers' fault for making their apps so. So if the developer has a very good tablet-optimised app on the iPad and a stretched-out one on the Android, then you have to ask yourself whether you want to support that developer or not. It's possible to have a tablet and phone version in the same apk, for example Tweetcaster. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's almost all if you don't support them you've nothing to Download Posted via Android Central App
  • Good idea, but needs to be implemented properly. The option also needs to be put in the Play Store so that larger phones like the Galaxy Note 3, HTC One Max and other large screen phones can have the option of installing the tablet optimized apps, instead of just stretching out phone apps designed for 4-4.5" screens.
  • It's actually up to the developers to decide that so you'll have to tell that specific developer Posted via Android Central App
  • Google needs to push a tablet other than the Nexus 7, because it's really just a big phone. Not that I don't like it, I have one and I love it. But Google needs to push the development of apps optimized for tablets like the Nexus 10 or the ton of similar Samsung tablets. That is the only thing I envy of iOS. Sent from my Verizon Moto X via the AC app
  • iOS may have more tablet apps but the interface looks very boring compared to android Posted via Android Central App from Nexus 7 2013
  • Until all the android apps are all stretched and ugly. Posted via Android Central App
  • Lol, for some reason, I find this funny. Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5
  • Well I guess that's relevant if you're just looking at the interface all day instead of actually using apps on your N7.
  • @Aditya - Maybe so, but when you're enjoying tablet optimized apps you won't really see the 'interface'
  • I am not an app junkie.all I do on my tablet is use it for reading,browsing web playing games and such so the interface matterst to me a lot.Besides the iOS system is so closed down it makes me nauseous to use it after I use Android.The lack of good browser options and keyboards is case in point Posted via Android Central App from Nexus 7 2013
  • Now a huge number of really, honestly tablet-supporting apps are showing as "designed for phone", which will obviously cause a lot of confusion. Somebody didn't think this through.
  • I am not happy with the pathetic rollout of 4.4 My 2012 Nexus 7 is still on outdated software 4.3 Posted via Android Central App