It’s about time: Google Play to provide distinction between phone and tablet apps

At last, Google(s goog) Play has come along. In a Friday post to the Android Developers Blog, Google announced an upcoming change to Google Play sure to please Android tablet users everywhere. Started November 21, when you access Google Play on an Android tablet, you will be given a tablet-optimized apps section as your default view. You can still search for compatible phone apps, but they’ll be clearly marked as “Designed for phone.”

This is a huge step forward for Google, which has really failed to promote its tablet app selection thus far. Aside from a half-baked “Designed for tablets” section introduced earlier this year, finding tablet-optimized apps has mostly proven to be an exercise in frustration. It’s been so bad I even wrote a guide for the best ways to find Android tablet apps until Google got its act together. Luckily, it appears those tips will no longer be necessary in less than two months time.

While this is great news for consumers, it’s good news for tablet app developers as well. According to Google, the Remember the Milk app saw an 83 percent increase in downloads after being added to its “Designed for tablets” section earlier this year. Google includes instructions in its blog post for how developers can submit their apps to be included in the upcoming tablet section.

To be fair, Android phone apps do tend to scale up to tablets better than iPhone(s aapl) apps do on the iPad. But it’s nice to finally see Google address this issue, which has arguably been one of the greatest knocks against Android tablets so far.

Now it’ll be interesting to see just how many tablet-optimized apps appear in the store when the change takes place.