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Why it's hard to find apps for other tablets

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER
  • Star Tribune
  • May 8, 2012 - 4:47 PM

QWhen are companies going to start writing apps for tablet computers other than the iPad? I own a Pandigital tablet, and when I try to download apps I'm told they're either for the iPad or iPhone.

LEROY HILTON, ORO VALLEY, ARIZ.

AYou can expect more apps for non-Apple tablet computers when those devices gain more market share. How soon, or if, that will happen is anyone's guess.

People who write apps are motivated by the revenue they're likely to get. They can maximize that revenue by focusing on the tablet computer that is owned by the largest number of people.

Right now, the best opportunity for app writers is the iPad, which in the first three months of 2012 accounted for 68 percent of the 17.4 million tablet computers sold worldwide, according to market research firm IDC (see tinyurl.com/73vz7zz.) The iPad's chief competitors, in order of market share, are tablets made by Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo and Barnes & Noble. Pandigital is further down the list.

QI recently bought a Kindle Fire tablet computer, and I'm disappointed that it cannot be read in the sunshine as other Kindle devices can. Is there anything I can do to make the screen more readable outdoors, such as buying an anti-glare screen protector?

MARY JO READY, SHOREVIEW

A An anti-glare protector won't help. The issue is that your Kindle Fire's LCD (liquid crystal display) screen is lit from inside, but isn't bright enough to compete with sunlight. Your only outdoor options are to raise the screen brightness (see video at tinyurl.com/7289vlo) and find some shade.

QMy Windows task bar was always at the bottom of my screen, but the other day it went to the top for some reason. How can I get it back to the bottom of the screen?

KATHLEEN GIGNAC, BARTOW, FLA.

AThe task bar can be dragged to a new location using your mouse. Left click a blank space on the task bar and, while holding down the mouse button, drag the bar to the bottom of the screen.

You can skip this manual process if you are using Windows XP or Windows Vista. Just go to tinyurl.com/c7qwp8 and click the automatic "fix it" button. That will return the task bar to its default position at the bottom of the screen.

If you have problems with either of these techniques, the task bar may have become "locked" in its current position. There are directions on the same Web page that explain how to "unlock" the tool bar's location so it can be moved.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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