Built in business: While Elon Musk continues to work on the colonization of Mars and the microchipping of the human brain, we continue to use mobile phones everywhere – at work, at school, at home, on vacation. Mobile app development is a very rapidly growing area as the number of mobile devices significantly exceeds the number of personal computers, and this trend will only grow. The demand for mobile application developers is growing at high speed, and the market is not yet saturated with mobile developers, so now is the time to start exploring the promising direction and think about creating a mobile development company in the USA.
Let’s take a closer look at what is the difference between mobile and tablet app development and which is right for you.
Mobile phones help us complete tasks such as ordering food or checking email on the go. Tablets are also considered mobile devices, but tablet apps are used in different contexts due to the screen size. Due to the large size of tablets, users cannot get tablets out of their pockets and perform tasks with them as quickly as with smartphones. So, you will need a place, such as at home or office, to interact with tablet applications.
A smartphone performs more communication functions, a tablet – multimedia and surfing the net. The tablet is larger than most smartphones and therefore shows more content on one screen, much more convenient for viewing presentations, editing text documents, reading books.
However, several reports say tablet sales are falling from quarter to quarter. The worldwide tablet market declined 0.6% year over year during the fourth quarter of 2019 (4Q19) as global shipments fell to 43.5 million units.
So, in the process of developing a mobile application, developers should always consider how the screen size limits the user’s attention, how to reduce the number of keystrokes, and how to fit the necessary set of functions into the application as compactly as possible.
Mobile applications are a source of quick information, so mobile apps are designed for quick interactions. On the other hand, the average tablet usage time is higher, so watching YouTube videos, visiting online shops, and reading books are all activities that people do on tablets and activities that require more time and attention than smartphones.
A smartphone and a tablet have different purposes, and, accordingly, differ not only in hardware characteristics but also in some design features of mobile applications. Smartphones and tablets differ greatly in screen parameters that affect the display quality of graphics. The difference between the ranges of smartphones and tablets leads to the need to change the arrangement of elements, adapt graphic elements to avoid loss of image quality. Otherwise, the system, not finding the necessary graphic files, will scale those that it has with the “blur” effect.
The development of the tablet version leads to an increase in the budget and the release time of the application by 30-60%, depending on its specifics. Also, the cost of product support and development, support for new versions of mobile operating systems and new mobile devices is growing. This is reflected not only in the cost, but also in the speed of development: new functions will need to be implemented in the tablet version as well, so they will appear less often.
As a result, even for online stores with high turnover, the introduction of a full-fledged tablet version of a mobile application does not pay off, and if it does pay off, it negatively affects the speed of implementation of new functionality.
Tablet UI design tips
The tablet app interface should not copy and resize the mobile app interface. To provide the best user experience for your users, you should design separate interfaces for tablet and mobile apps while maintaining a consistent user interface design.
The Android OS makes it easy to develop applications for a large number of devices with different screen settings. This is very convenient as you just need to create one application and distribute it to a wide range of target devices. However, to get the best display of your application on all screen configurations, especially tablets, layouts, and other interface components need to be optimized for each range of devices. By optimizing the interface for tablets, you can take full advantage of the big screen, such as expanding functions, adding new content, or enhancing the experience of the app in other ways and making the user experience more enjoyable.
If you want to distribute an application developed for phones for tablets, you should start with the location of the interface elements and the distances between them, adjust the font size. In some cases, for example, for 7-inch tablets or games, where the main part of the screen is graphics, these adjustments may be sufficient. In the case of larger tablets, you can avoid the “stretched interface” by combining multiple screen views into one multi-pane interface, simplifying navigation and adding content.
Having considered two ways to create a mobile application and their functions, you can now easily make a choice in favour of one or another approach, depending on the situation. Tablet app design is a delicate topic, and if you are thinking of developing an app for your business, you will need a separate tablet UI design. But, remember that popular apps don’t always need a tablet version, and Instagram is a good example.