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(Pocket-lint) - New findings from analysts Nielsen show that Android users are more likely to use their smartphone to check out their bank balance on the go rather than play Angry Birds or other games.

The data, captured from the company's Android panel, monitored more than 1,500 Android smartphone users in the UK over the course of six months in 2012.

Users agreed to have an app installed on their phone that monitored traffic, application usage, web usage, telephony and hardware performance. System apps, such as camera or native email, were not included.

The results indicate that the use of functional apps, such as those for shopping, are growing faster among UK Android smartphone users than the use of gaming or fun apps.


"Seven of the 15 major apps experiencing the fastest-growing usage by UK Android smartphone users are commerce apps," Neilsen reveals. "These include apps used to buy digital products, general retail products and experiences through social commerce. Of the other eight, two are banking apps, but only one is a game." 

The fastest growing UK usage of Android apps, May to October 2012:

1. Amazon AppStore

2. HSBC Fast Balance

3. Flipboard

4. Tesco

5. MX Player

6. Quidco

7. Coin Dozer

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8. Google+

9. Google Play Movies & TV

10. TopCashBack

11. Lloyds TSB Mobile Banking

12. Asda

13. Google Books

14. Instagram

15. Tune-In Radio

Neilsen adds: "Banking apps are attracting smartphone users.  HSBC Fast Balance and Lloyds TSB are the third and thirteenth fastest-growing of all apps, with users engaging with them for around 20 minutes on average each month." 

The chart is based on the increase in the total time that an app was visible on users’ screens between May and October 2012.

“Apps have grown up. The list shows that consumers are now seeking apps which help them with real-world tasks, not just fun gimmicks and games," said David Gosen, Nielsen managing director for digital in Europe.

Nielsen Smartphone Analytics has also detailed the most popular apps in October for Android users, with games not even getting a look in.

Most-popular UK Android apps by reach, Oct 2012:

1. Google Play

2. Google Search

3. Facebook

4. Google Maps

5. Calendar

6. Gmail

7. YouTube

8. Calculator

9. eBay Mobile

10. Whatsapp Messenger

Writing by Stuart Miles.
Sections Google Apps