At first glance the Guardian Android app looks exactly the same as its iPhone and iPad offering, a simplified version of the Guardian website that for all its clean white lines and colour-coded sections is far from inspiring. It's an impression that is doubly apparent when using the app on a 10in Android tablet: this is certainly no visual match for the Times iPad app, for instance.

But it's very simple to navigate and easy on the eye, making the Guardian app not bad at all for free. The depth of content alone would be worth paying for and while a larger mobile device will highlight the Guardian's lack of visual chops, it's certainly not an unpleasant browsing experience.

Guardian app for Android

A really nice touch is that the homepage is customisable. Hit the settings icon in the top righthand corner and you can select up to eight sections that will appear on your app's homepage. And if you want to follow a particular story, or even a specific type of story (the phone hacking scandal or cricket news, for instance) you can add that to your home screen. It's very intuitive.

What makes this really interesting - and makes the Guardian Android app worth having, in my opintion - is that once you're happy with the selections on your homepage, you can download only that content with a simple click. It's a simple process via the settings page. Pretty useful for those trying to get their news fix via a 3G connection on a train, for instance.

Guardian app for Android

Even better - and of interest to those with Wi-Fi only devices, you can schedule your content download to take place at a certain time each day. So rather than throwing some change at the man in WH Smiths, you can grab your tablet as you head out of the door and browse your favourite newspaper at your leisure. And for free, that would be cheap at twice the price.

See also: what's the best Android app?

Guardian App for Android: Specs

  • Android smartphone or tablet
  • web connection
  • Android smartphone or tablet
  • web connection

OUR VERDICT

As a free app the Guardian on Android is a must-have for any Guardian readers. (Well, those with Android devices anyway.) It can't quite compete with the way that The Times' and The Telegraph's iPad apps have ported the newspaper-browsing experience to a mobile device, but the levels of content and customisation make the Guardian app a winner.

Find the best price