Tablet vs. Mobile App Development

Tablet and mobile apps are different in terms of user experience, screen size, the features they support, and more.

When choosing between developing an app for tablets or mobile, it’s important to think about your target audience. Think about how they spend their time, what are their activities and equipment of choice, and what kind of features they would prefer.

Now, let’s dive into some statistics, key differences between tablet and mobile apps, and some pros and cons, to help you make your decision.

Tablet vs. Mobile: What Are People Using?

Users spend about 10.9 minutes per session on tablet apps and 7.2 minutes per session on mobile apps.

So, more people use smartphones, but the ones that use tablets spend more time on them.

Tablets are becoming more and more popular in the workplace as well as for personal use.

What Are the Biggest Differences Between Tablet and Mobile Apps?

  • Screen Size

Tablets have a bigger screen than smartphones, which creates more space for different features and content. Tablet apps are often optimized for both portrait and landscape modes, which provides users with more flexibility and a better viewing experience.

Smartphones, on the other hand, have a smaller screen, which allows enough space only for essential features and information. They require a more compact design and are usually optimized for portrait (vertical) mode.

  • User Experience

Since tablets have bigger screens, there is room for more information. Tablet apps often incorporate more complex interactions, like drag-and-drop features and options with more clicks. They are also more visual and use the screen to display more content, graphics, and animations.

When creating mobile apps, app developers try to make everything coherent and simple, knowing users are going to be seeing the app on a smaller screen. The information is accessed quickly, with just a few clicks.

  • Performance

Tablet apps often have more advanced hardware options, like multi-core processors and higher screen resolutions.

Mobile apps are designed to be lightweight and efficient to run smoothly on less powerful mobile device hardware. Since the battery in smartphones is smaller than in tablets, mobile app development focuses on minimizing battery consumption and data usage.

  • Cost

Since developing a tablet is more complex, the cost is sometimes higher. Also, tablets come in different sizes, so developers may need to create more versions of the app.

Tablet App Development: Pros and Cons


  • The big screen that tablets have leaves room for creativity. Developers can create an engaging user experience with different features and options that lead the customer to experience the app fully.
  • Tablets can incorporate more complex interactions, and they can be optimized for both landscape and portrait orientations (horizontal and vertical).
  • Tablets have more advanced hardware options. This enables a smoother user experience and higher screen resolutions. That means developers can use interesting visuals, like high-quality graphics and different animations.
  • Developing a tablet app can help you target a niche audience, as there is less competition compared to the mobile app market.


  • Developing an app for tablets requires additional time and effort to optimize the design, layout, and features for the larger screen size.
  • Since developing a tablet app is more complex, the cost can go up.
  • Fewer people use tablets than phones, which creates a smaller audience.
  • Tablets are not as portable as phones. 

Mobile App Development: Pros and Cons


  • Mobile phones have a larger user base compared to tablets. A lot of people use smartphones, so more people will be exposed to your app if you develop it for phone use.
  • Smartphones are portable. So, if your app contains information that’s good to absorb while out and about, consider mobile app development.
  • Creating an app for phones is less complex and costly than for tablets.
  • Mobile apps can be easily updated and receive instant user feedback through app store reviews, ratings, and social media. This helps developers identify issues and make improvements quickly.


  • Since phones have a smaller screen than tablets, apps can display fewer features and content. This makes the user experience less interesting than on tablet apps.
  • The design must be optimized for a smaller screen.
  • Mobile phones have less powerful hardware. This can limit the app’s performance, graphics quality, and visual effects.
  • Mobile phones have a smaller battery. 
  • The mobile app market is more saturated than for tablet apps.

What is Best For Your Business?

When deciding between developing a tablet or mobile app, think about your business goals.

Think about when and how your target audience will be using the app and what features will best complement it.

Most people use tablets in their leisure time and phones when they are on the go.

86% of tablet users use their tablet when they are at home.

Tablets are popular among specific demographics, like professionals, students, and families.

Mobile phone apps are better for targeting a wider and more general audience.

Tablets target a niche audience. The market for tablet apps is less saturated.

So, when deciding what is the best step for your business, think about the audience you want to attract, the features that will best complement your app, and your budget.

Think if you want your users to quickly access information while at work or out in town, or if you want them to have a quality user experience while lying back at home.

How many features do you want to include? How compact do you want your app to be?

And lastly, how many people are you trying to reach?


So, we went over all the differences and pros and cons of tablet and mobile app development. 

Both platforms offer unique advantages and challenges.

Remember that your choice highly depends on your target audience. Think about what features they would like best and how to keep them intrigued.

Think about screen size, the level of portability you need, hardware options, and how complex you want your app to be.

If you are feeling confused, you can always hire a software development company to help you out. Plenty of them are experts in mobile and tablet app development. Dive into the software development life cycle examples and make your pick.

If you want to continue this journey alone, do a lot of research, invest in your knowledge, and try to make the most educated and informed choice that will drive more traffic to your brand.

Best of luck to you.