Google’s Android 4.0 ICS was the first major Android release meant to run on phones and tablets without problems. While it didn’t look the same on both devices, the tablets kept a big similarity, for example having the Settings area in the lower right corner. And now Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings more UI fragmentation as the interface will look different on 7 and 10 inch tablets.
Early receivers of the Nexus 7 tablets at Google I/O 2012 noticed that the 7 inch tablet has a phone-like user interface and some devs even changed it to look more like a tablet UI. The folks of Computer World asked Google what the deal was with that concept and learned that the Nexus 7 doesn’t use a phone layout… instead that’s the UI design you’re going to get on ALL 7 inch tablets from now on. Larger slates will keep the same UI we’re used to seeing on Android 3.0+ units.
The 7 inch slates will have features from previous Android iterations and similar UI design. Thus, for example the notification bar is at the top of the screen and if you use the default home screen app, the home screen will be stuck in portrait mode. Well, doesn’t that suck? Another example is using the Gmail app in landscape mode, that will bring up a multi pane view with a list of messages/labels on the left and the email messages on the right. The question here is what UI will 7.7, 8.9 and 9.7 inch tablets will adopt.