The iPad still dominates the tablet marketplace, but other similar devices are slowly gaining popularity. By some projections, the iPad’s market share is headed below 60% in coming years. As in the smartphone market, Apple’s major rival is Google’s Android operating system, which powers an array of devices including Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
Many financial institutions have already introduced apps for the iPad, but they have been slower to embrace Android tablets. This February, Citi introduced an app optimized for the Kindle Fire, becoming the second firm to release an Android tablet app after American Express in October. Citi’s design copies the iPad closely, with account balances and history, transfers and bill pay, and useful data visualizations. Unfortunately, the app is not available for any other Android tablets.
Other Financial Firms on the Kindle Fire
In researching Citi’s new tablet app, we noticed a number of other prominent financial institutions among app listings. As of this writing, the Amazon Appstore’s Best Sellers in Finance Apps include:
• Chase (#2)
• Wells Fargo (#3)
• Discover (#14)
• Citi (already at #15)
• PNC Virtual Wallet (#16)
• Charles Schwab (#19)
• TD Mobile Trader (#20)
• optionsXpress (#47)
• TD Ameritrade Mobile (#76)
• JP Morgan (#84)
At first, we were surprised to see so many Kindle Fire apps on the market. Upon closer inspection, though, all of these examples other than Citi are simply an adaptation of the Android smartphone version. Using an app designed for a small smartphone screen and blowing the display up for even a 7” Kindle is far from an ideal user experience. Thus, Citi’s new app deserves credit for offering an optimized tablet experience, even if it remains available to only a segment of the Android market.