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Network World - With the presumptive launch of Google's Nexus 7 tablet mere days or hours away, developers at Google I/O 2012 are emphasizing the need for a unified platform on which they can do their work.
IN PICTURES: First look -- Google's new Nexus 7 tablet
According to MegaDevs co-founder Sebastiano Gottardo, the new Jellybean version of Android is a positive step.
"At the moment, I think tablet support [for Android] is not that bad, [however,] they should go that way further. With Jellybean, they're heading in the right direction," he says.
It's also important, according to Bryan Kelly and Jeff Sibbold of Detroit Labs, to make sure that developers have a "Nexus" environment to work with, independent of the OEM skins and overlays that are common to Android smartphones.
"They definitely need to make sure it's vanilla Android," Kelly says.
Both agreed, however, that the unity of the environment is also a critical concern.
"The biggest thing they could do is unify the platform," Sibbold says.
LG Electronics systems engineer Gyo-Seok Chu says specialized software developer kits and APIs for use with tablets will be helpful. "Most market apps are focused on phones," he says.
Jason Huff, founder of Atom Arcade, says documentation is a key. "Any type of examples of what the hardware can actually do," he says, will be crucial.
Support for Bluetooth, near-field communication and beam communication also made Huff's wish list, along with webkit functionality.
SendGrid developer Seth Ammons says that, in general, Google will have to overcome public perception issues and "get the word out" in order to make a dent in the iPad's market share.
"Everybody thinks 'iPad' when they think tablet," he says.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.