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Android's versioning problems are far from over. In tests this weekend, I found that none of the major streaming apps aside from YouTube work on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 I received during Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) I/O developer conference last month.
And that's after upgrading the underlying OS to the latest edition of Honeycomb, version 3.1. Knowing this, I wonder how any of us can be surprised that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPad still dominates the conversation when it comes to tablets?
To be fair, Apple users have their own issues with version 1.3 of the iPad edition of Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) . "I LOVED this app until the update prior to this last one," reviewer dailyink write of the app at Apple's website. "Now the app constantly crashes when searching titles. On series titles, it crashes upon clicking the load titles button. Once viewing it does not crash much, but will freeze for a repulsive amount of time."
Netflix also suffers from an ongoing spat between Liberty Starz (Nasdaq: LSTZA ) and Sony (NYSE: SNE ) . New releases once available for its signature Watch Instantly service have been pulled until licensing issues are worked through. Yet losing some flicks is better than losing access to all flicks. Android tab users don't even have that choice.
Nor do we have access to Hulu or Hulu Plus, which, although a bear to configure, also runs on my wife's iPad. Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) HBO2GO is a breeze on the pad -- just as good as Netflix and very easy to navigate. If only my Galaxy were filled with as much goodness.
But you don't need to have a tab to have trouble with streaming apps if you're an Android user. The most recent version of Netflix not only fails to function on the Galaxy, but judging from user comments it also fails to work on the HTC Incredible and experiences some issues on the HTC EVO.
Color me mystified. ABI Research has already found a general hesitancy among consumers to commit to tablets -- only 27% of those surveyed in March told the firm they were "extremely" or "very" interested in buying a tab. Of those, 57% said they'd use the device to watch TV or download movies, whereas 56% called social networking a priority and 55% cited games. Only email (82%) and Web browsing (71%) ranked higher than streaming. How can Google expect to compete when its tabs can't satisfy one of consumers' most basic expectations? Should this gap influence Google investors?
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