While Android tablets are in much the same position that Android phones are — trying to catch dominant market leader Apple and its iPad tablet — there’s an increasing amount of buzz about the newest generation of Android tablets from companies such as Motorola, LG, and Samsung. Google’s release of its new Honeycomb tablet OS should open up some brand new possibilities in apps used on Android tablets, including games, utility apps, and e-commerce applications.
The Motorola Xoom is the first Android tablet out of the gates to use Honeycomb, and it makes full use of many of the new capabilities. One of the most noticeable is its Google Talk app, a direct competitor to Apple’s FaceTime program used for video chatting on the fly. Other utility apps and those available at the Android Market include an improved Web browser and e-mail apps, as well as tools to customize the home screen and other tabs. Honeycomb also promises increased support for e-commerce applications, such as the possibility of scanning barcodes and paying for items with a few swipes on the device.
Honeycomb also promises more graphic support and speed for higher-end games — including a new animation framework and accelerated graphics — key areas that Android tablet manufacturers are counting on to try to steal market share from the iPad. While most games that are currently available for Android devices don’t really show off those capabilities, many game developers are planning more intensive, higher-end games that take full advantage of the new OS.
One very popular gaming genre that continues to grow is online gaming, especially blackjack online games, poker, and other casino games. It’s next to impossible to play slots online on the iPad due to Apple’s restrictions on gambling apps but Android developers don’t have the same handcuffs. Many online gaming companies are still waiting to see how the market develops but some sportsbetting and poker sites have already released apps for Android devices, with more already in the works. Online gaming is very natural for for tablets and smartphones, letting millions of fans enjoy their favorite poker and casino games wherever they are.