Welcome to the convenient and fun world of social networking on the tablet and smartphone! You have the right idea, since apps make it easier than ever before to use social media, scout your industry and competitors and enjoy all sorts of other clever computing. However, before you assume anything, let’s consider some major differences between Apple and Android operating systems, and how these might affect your social media marketing plans.
What’s Not Compatible:
First, understand that not all apps are compatible. The most obvious entry to discuss is that of Pinterest. Pinterest is easy to access on a PC or a web browser. However, it is impossible to access on any Android phone with an app. Users must use iPhone or be limited to the Pinterest website on their browser. Another major app that is still unavailable on Android units is Flipboard, the newsreader that has been an iPad fixture for the last two years, and for the iPhone last year. Flipboard is highly convenient as it lets you create a magazine-like reading format for social network content as well as RSS feeds.
Tweetbot is an app that makes social media easy. Not only does it offer a superior interface, but it gives you sounds and animation, multiple timelines, smart gestures and the ability to organize your Twitter lists for levels of friends and family. Unfortunately for Android users, this app is only on Apple products.
Design Issues to Consider
Another issue to be aware of when using social media on a mobile device—just because an app is available for multiple platforms does not necessarily mean it was designed for that tablet; hence, you may not be getting the ideal experience with an encore app. You may even find it to be irrelevant your needs, particularly if you have a product that was designed for a much smaller (or larger) screen that now has to unnaturally adjust to fit your device.
Android in particular is known for software that is ideal for phones, not so much for larger tablet PCs. They just barely work on tablets, and are not often times as smooth or pretty as apps designed for iPads. Beware of overlapping, longer loading times, uncomfortable scrolling and other potential problems.
Android Only Apps…but Are They Worth It?
However, there are some Android only apps that should be mentioned. For example, the well-known Wikipedia website runs on any system, but only has an app for the Android. Additionally, LinkedIn the website is only accessible on an iOS web browser and not on the iPad as an app. Then again, not everyone enjoys using the Android apps for Wiki or LinkedIn, which are scaled down versions, and may actually prefer the official website through a browser.
- Must Read: Android Market: Unlimited Possibilities
Of course, you have to keep things in perspective. Apple’s superiority in app quality is no reason to avoid the Android. The fact is, Android has all of the top 20 apps for iPad available on the latest Android OS. (Yes, even Angry Birds!)
One of the main reasons Apple fans and Steve Jobs enthusiasts prefer their company over free-promoting Linux-based competitors, is because of the apps. Apple put a great deal of marketing savvy into their investment and made sure that they had the apps to back up their history-making launches with iPod, iPad and iPhone.
So remember this when planning your upcoming social media campaign. Which sites are most important and where will you be accessing them? Are you comfortable using a web browser or is an app more practical—and is it available on your system?