The apps listed on the Android Market are created by developers around the world and are instantly published for everyone to see. There are over 300,000 free and paid apps available for you to download for almost any occasion or situation. Here, we give a brief overview of some of the ever-expanding categories:
Lifestyle: These are your everyday 'essential' applications that can save you time and keep you up-to-date wherever you are. With these you can find deals at your local stores, download alternative browsers, check the lottery numbers or find some cooking recipes. There are also apps that can show you where local places of interest are such as shops, bars and restaurants, or even nearby National Trust properties.
Social: This section is for all the major social networking apps like Facebook and Foursquare. Some sites like Twitter have a variety of apps that have been developed offering different layouts. These types of apps allow you to access your accounts from your mobile or tablet PC, making updates and viewing statuses. The number of functions on the full website can vary when using the app but grows with each update.
Games: Pretty much any type of game you can imagine can be played on the device you're using. From strategic 'Tower Defense' games through to puzzle-based titles like the enormously popular Angry Birds - there's something for all ages and tastes.
Productivity: From task schedulers to website analytics, there's much to help you get your work done faster. Some apps are designed to update or backup your calendar or contact lists. You can even sort and arrange mass emails or make video calls. Wanting to customise your on-screen keyboard? There are several apps available which let you do this.
Photography: Apps range from sequencers to photo editing software and are growing even more powerful and professional. Lots of apps will let you filter images to look like vintage photos and also sync up with your DSLR.
Other categories include: Books & Reference, Business, Comics, Communication, Education, Finance, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Live Wallpaper, Media & Video, Medical, Music & Audio, News & Magazines, Personalization, Shopping, Tools, Transport, Travel & Local, Weather, widgets and Libraries & Demo.
How to buy apps
There is two ways to buy apps from the Android Market; you can either download them directly from your phone or tablet, or you can browse the Android Market from your PC and have it sent to your device. To download apps your device needs to be connected to the internet and you must have a registered Google Checkout Account. If you already have a Google Checkout Account, skip to: Buying from your mobile or tablet PC.
Creating a Google Checkout Account
You need to create a Checkout Account so you can instantly purchase apps from Android Market.
- Go to the Google Checkout Account website and click on Sign up for a new Google Account
- Fill in your details and when done click Create my account
- Note: The first time you try to download an app on your device, you'll need to login and follow the on-screen instructions. Once you've done this, it will remember your details for future downloads.
On your device, there should be an app called Market. If you know what you're looking for, click on the search icon at the top of the page and type in an app name e.g. Sims - a list of related apps will appear. Alternatively, you can click on the Apps or Games icons or look through the Featured section to browse and see the top free and paid apps for that category.
On your device: When you have found an app you're interest in, click on it to view its details along with images, ratings and comments. To install, click on the FREE button or if it's a paid app, click on the button that has the price of the app (underneath Buy). A screen will appear with permissions for the app. The permissions are what the app wants access to - for more information click and go to our article on Android app permissions. To continue installing click OK - the app will start downloading straight away.
On the PC: Go to the Android Market website and login using your Google Account. Look through the apps and when you find one you want, click on INSTALL and a Checkout box will appear (see image below). Choose the device you want it to be sent to, read through the permissions and then click INSTALL to finish.
If you're unhappy with the app or have downloaded a paid app by mistake you have 15 minutes to receive a full 'no questions asked' refund. After this time, you'll need to email the developer with your reasons for a refund, with refunds normally only given if the game doesn't work as it should.
With so many apps to choose from it can be hard to know what to download - if you want some suggestions, read our article on Android Apps - Our top picks.
It's a technological revolution, and it's App-ening right now.