How to find and develop Android tablet-specific apps

Jack Wallen answers a reader's questions about finding Android tablet-specific apps and getting started with mobile development.

TechRepublic member Jerry Evans sent me two questions about Android tablet-specific apps. Read my answers, and then share your advice for this peer in the comments.

How can you tell if an app is for "tablet" use or not?

If you're looking at Google Play, the best place to look for tablet-specific apps is to tap the "Staff Picks for Tablets" link. All of the apps listed there are optimized for tablets.

Another tip is to look for apps whose names end in HD (High Definition) or XL (Extra Large); this is your clue the app was designed for tablets' larger screens. Some apps will have a standard version and an HD version; as long as you install the HD version, you should be good to go.

Can you point me to some basic information on how to create apps?

The best place to start with developing apps for the Android platform is the MIT App Inventor (which used to be the Google App Inventor). Here is an FAQ for getting started with MIT App Inventor. You will need a Google account to use these tools. You should also check out the Android development tips in TechRepublic's App Builder blog. Update: Read A newbie's guide to Android development by TechRepublic contributor William Francis.

Good luck developing apps! Create something incredible, and share your experience with the TechRepublic community.

Ask Jack: If you have a tech question, email it to me, and I'll do my best to answer it. (Read guidelines about submitting questions. The guidelines are the same for the TR Dojo blog as they were for the DIY IT Guy blog.)