Android App Use Dominated By A Handful Of Players

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Android users spend most of their time on just a tiny fraction the apps available, according to a survey

Android smartphone users spend almost half their time using the same ten applications, according to a survey by Nielsen Smartphone Analytics.

While there are more than 250,000 Android apps available on the Android Market, the top ten account for 43 percent of all mobile app usage and the top 50 accounts for 61 percent.

“With 250,000+ Android apps available at the time of this writing, that means the remaining 249,950+ apps have to compete for the remaining 39 percent of the pie,” wrote Don Kellogg on the Nielson Newswire Blog.

Angry Birds, of course

Nielsen is withholding details of which apps top the bill until its All About Android webinar on 15 September, but when eWEEK Europe checked the Android Market today the top apps included Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps and, of course, Angry Birds.

The first three are among the most popular websites in the world across any platform – mobile or desktop.

Android has soared to the top of the smartphone OS marketshare charts recently on the back of continued adoption by manufacturers. Last week Gartner recorded Android’s marketshare to be 43.4 percent compared to second placed Apple’s iOS share of 18.1 percent.

And genuine challengers to the Apple/Android hegemony are few and far between, more so it seems since HP announced yesterday that it would be halting development of devices running webOS, the OS it acquired with Palm.

The average Android user spends 56 minutes a day using the web and apps, Nielsen’s survey found, with two thirds of that time devoted to apps.

Security worries

But, as Android use has grown, so too has the temptation for malware developers prompting concerns about the system’s security.

More than 70 apps infected by the variants of the Droid Dream malware were pulled from the Android Market earlier this year and a security researcher said this week he had found more than a dozen commonly used apps vulnerable to hijacking and phishing attacks.

A report from Lookout Mobile Security this month also said up to a million Android users could have been affected by malware, and infection is 2.5 times more likely now than it was six months ago.

Meanwhile, Google began acquiring mobile device manufaturer Motorola Mobility this week, a move that would take it into the hardware space for the first time.

Google says it intends to run Motorla Mobility as a seperate entity but speculaton has been growing about how the acquisition could affect its relationships with other Android partners once it becomes a competitor.

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