There are literally thousands of apps available for Google Android, and they're not just available from the Android Market, Google's official app store. Those with a smartphone running Google Android can also head to independent app stores such as GetJar and Mobile Wever to peruse the software offerings for their phone. Here's our guide to some of the best Android apps available.
The apps you can't live without
Whether you're a Facebook member or prefer to head to Twitter to get your social fix from the web, we can almost guarantee there's an app for your favourite social network, making it much easier to navigate the site from your handset. The current giants, which also includes business-based network LinkedIn, along with smaller networks like Rendezvous have now been joined by Google+, the search engine's latest attempt at a social network, so if you're one of the web users that's been lucky enough to get an invite, then you can access the service form your phone.
There are hundreds of games available for your Android smartphone through the Android Market. Whether you fancy Pirates and Traders, Soccer Superstars or even SpeedForge 3D, there'll certainly be something to suit you. But that's not the only source of games, try independent app stores including GetJar, which offer Android versions of massively popular iOS games such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.
Music, video and photo
Virgin Media's TiVo TV-on-demand customers will love the company's Android app that lets them set programmes to record from their handset. The app, which can be downloaded for free from the Android Market now for devices running Google Android version 2.1 and above, also ensures users can see what's on over the next seven days. They can personalise the app by creating a list of their favourite channels to see what's on, without trawling through all of the listings. There's even a detailed synopsis for each show offering and the ability to share what you're watching with friends and family by text or email. Meanwhile, the Sky RemoteRecord app bring the same functionality to Sky viewers.
Fans of online catch-up TV service will love ITVPlayer for Android, which works on all devices running version 2.2 and above of the Google mobile platform and Adobe Air 2.6 or above. The app lets users stream as many shows that have already been broadcast on ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 as they like on their mobile device, but only when using a wireless connection. This means they won't be able to access TV shows when using their data connection. Similarly, the BBC iPlayer app for Android lets users watch and listen to TV and radio shows broadcast over the last seven days.
Meanwhile, if it's not watching TV but listening to music that floats your boat, there's plenty of music-streaming apps available in the Android app store. From giants such as Spotify and Napster less well-known services like We7. And if you own an Android phone and you are a subscriber to Sony's cloud-based Qriocity music service on the PlayStation and PC, you're in luck: Sony offers a dedicated Qriocity app for Android smartphones. Officially titled 'Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity', the app allows subscribers to Sony's cloud-based streaming music service full access to the Qriocity catalogue, which currently boasts over seven million licensed songs from major record labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music. Music video fans should check out the Vevo app, which allows users to stream music from their smartphone.
For photo fans, check out these five apps that will let you edit photos, share them and more, all from your mobile phone.