Although it’s easy to assume that a tablet app design should be essentially identical to its mobile phone counterpart, that isn’t always the case. The two devices are not exactly interchangeable.
For instance, when considering how a tablet version of an app should differ from it’s mobile phone counterpart, it’s important for developers to focus on how the ways in which people use each device differ.
Time Spent With Tablet vs. Mobile Phone Apps
In many cases, people use phone-based apps for quick tasks; they don’t engage with them for a long period of time. Users simply open up the app to efficiently retrieve information or access a key feature.
That’s not always true of tablet users. After all, most people don’t carry a tablet around on their person the way they do a phone. When they get out with their tablet, they’re more likely to use an app in a manner that involves engaging with it for a longer amount of time. Thus, those investing in tablet application development should prioritize maximizing the degree of engagement a user has with an individual tablet app by developing features that might not be as useful on a mobile phone.
The difference in screen size between a phone and tablet is also important to keep in mind when thinking about tablet application development and design. Apps for mobile phones should make the most of the limited screen area. Designers don’t want the interface or layout of the app to overwhelm users, but they do want to efficiently take advantage of as much space as they possibly can. This can be a difficult balancing act to pull off.
When it comes to Apple and Android tablet app development, designers have more freedom. They can include additional features and graphics without worrying about crowding the screen with an excess of visual information.
This means the tablet application can essentially offer extra functionality. For instance, perhaps you’re thinking about releasing an on-demand app that lets customers order groceries. A mobile app should only display one item at a time, otherwise the screen will be too crowded.
A tablet version, on the other hand, could take advantage of the extra screen space by offering users an experience that more closely resembles a true shopping experience. The tablet can display numerous items at once – like groceries on a shelf – and allow users to drag what they want into their shopping cart.