Best Android apps: First apps to download
If you're the proud owner of a brand new Android device (or just looking for inspiration), then one of the first things you'll be wanting to do is get some great apps.
Although all phones will do a lot in their naked form, it's the apps that really dress things up and bring you all the fun. To save you searching too far and wide, here are some of our top Android apps to smarten up your smartphone.
You'll probably head for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks first, but here are some other apps to consider in your first run of downloads.
The smart keyboard has been top of the Google Play charts for 2 years and deservedly so. You get great spelling correction and predictive word suggestions with the app learning how you use language.
You can also apply themes, choose the size and position of your keyboard and have it learn from Facebook, Twitter and Gmail to get your favourite phrases ready to use. It's well worth the money.
Kindle for Android
If you want to read on your device and own a Kindle already, then Kindle for Android is an absolute must. Opening the gateway to books you may have previously purchased and staying in sync with your other Kindle devices, you'll be able to read your books whenever you want on your phone.
If you're not already a Dropbox user, you should be. Your device may even give you more free storage space, so it's well using. Dropbox is a simple way to either back-up your photos or share files to and from your device. It's also really handy for making sure you've got your essential documents - like your insurance details - within easy reach.
If you like messaging and want to talk to friends across all platforms be that Android, iPhone, BlackBerry or Windows Phone, then WhatsApp is for you. This service will let you send messages and photos without the charges you might get from SMS or MMS - great for those at home on Wi-Fi with a limited allowance.
It's simple, easy to use and will get the message through with very little connection.
The quintessential catch-up TV service for us Brits, BBC iPlayer will let you catch-up on those shows you missed during the week. You'll also be able to listen to the radio and download for offline TV viewing - perfect for watching Eastenders on the Tube to work.
Whether you're a subscriber or not, Spotify will stream music of your choosing to your phone. Premium subscribers get full control with no adverts, but you can get "shuffle play" without paying a penny, if you're happy with the odd advert. It will certainly let you listen to that new album you're unsure of whether to buy.
If you want to get more from your lock screen, then Cover may do the trick. The smart lock screen will adapt the shortcuts it offers to match your behaviour, with your frequently-used apps rising to the top for instant access.
It will also let you peek into an app with a swipe, which is really clever, as well as letting you set-up profiles for different times of the day - home or work - so you get the relevant apps straight away.
If you don't like the look of the stock calendar, the Cal gives you something a little different, pulling in background images to brighten things up, as well as incorporating location maps, and offering to navigate you there. There's even integration for Uber, so you can call a cab to get you to your next appointment.
The essential game for football fans, and best of all, it's free. It also requires a lot of storage space, but it's a really impressive mobile game that will see you playing those fixtures no matter where you are.
Real Racing 3
Another top game, but one that also needs a lot of storage space, Real Racing 3 brings great racing, wonderful graphics, realistic tracks and cars and hours of fun. There's a lot to do and it's free. Don't be tempted to buy credits to upgrade your car, you can earn plenty through racing.
Temple Run 2
If you want something that's a little more lightweight on the gaming front, try Temple Run 2. The premise is simple. You just have to keep running, make the turns, jump the jumps, avoid the obstacles. How far do you think you'll get?
Candy Crush Saga
It's horrendously addictive, but so incredibly popular. Candy Crush has taken the mobile world by storm. You'll probably have noticed the begging messages on Facebook, because after a while, it will start asking you for cash to proceed to the next batch of levels. It's fun while it lasts though.
If by some mysterious twist of fate you don't have a weather app on your phone and you love weather, then check out BBC Weather. Big, bold and packed with information, you'll get all the details you want straight to your phone. Of course, there's weather available in Google Now too.
If you don't have a radio on your phone, or just prefer to go digital, then TuneIn Radio will connect you to internet radio so you'll always have something to listen to. You can allocate favourites so it's easy to find your top stations. But beware, this is streaming over your data connection, it's no the same as a free FM tuner.