What devs say about iPad (but not Android tablets)

“Our designers and animators are working day and night to optimize our apps (for the new iPad)… We’ve made this our highest priority.”

Nicolas Calloway of Calloway Digital Arts made the comment to USA Today, and he wasn’t the only developer to make note of the quick efforts to get apps updated for the iPad’s Retina Display (s aapl). Epic Games, makers of the Infinity Blade series, upgraded their high-resolution action game to coincide with the new iPad launch. And a check of the iTunes App Store highlights 42 total titles as “Great Apps for the New iPad” that take advantage of the tablet’s 2048 x 1536 display.

I expect that total to quickly increase and I suspect it’s actually an understatement of the total apps optimized for the new iPad. Amazon’s Kindle(s amzn) app doesn’t appear in the list, for example, and yet a version for the new iPad arrived last week.

The entire situation differs greatly from that of Android tablets. When the first one appeared on the market just over a year ago, I could find only 16 tablet-optimized titles. More importantly, I don’t recall hearing any developers that were rushing to get their applications on new Android tablets. Some of that reason had to be related to the first Android tablet itself, Motorola’s Xoom(s mmi); a rushed device that was priced high, even with carrier subsidies.

Even now, however, Android tablet apps are taking a backseat to those for the iPad. It’s very rare that an app first appears on Android devices over those running iOS. And that gives Apple a competitive advantage in this market: Consumers in the know won’t want to invest in the devices that get software titles second (if at all), but will buy the hardware that has the best supporting software and ecosystem. If you don’t believe that, just ask a mobile app developer.