Still think the finest Android applications struggle to hold a candle to the devilish slick, polished apps that adorn the iPhone App Store? Here’s ten to make you reconsider…
1 Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus
A convincing and eminently playable first person shooter from Gameloft that rubbishes notions that the genre can’t work on smartphones.
There’s a meaty story mode, as well as 15 weapons and 12 battlefields to master. And when you're done with that head to the 10-player online games, which is where the real action is.
2 Words with Friends
Never mind horse racing, cruciverbalists and word game geeks know that Scrabble is the real game of kings. Zynga’s variant offers the chance to play online with randoms or create games against your nearest and dearest. Handy if no-one in your circle shares your passion for triple-word scores.
With its designer toy-style looks, Google’s robotic mascot is one of the best things about Android. Grab Androidify and you can create a personalised version of everyone’s favourite automaton in your image.
Once you’re done dressing it, stretching it and subjecting it to all manner of fashion crimes, you can share your handiwork with your friends or set it as a photo in your contacts book.
4 Kongregate Arcade
At the time of writing this offered 600 – count ‘em – flash games for you to get your teeth into. The accent is very much on casual gaming, so don’t expect anything too absorbing. But with titles that take in puzzlers, sport sims, actioners and racers, there’s a time-killer here with your name on it.
Taking its cues from NES classic Megaman and any number of eight-bit platformers, but without those titles’ insistence on pixel perfect jumps and the reflexes of a 12-year-old to get anywhere, this is some of the most fun you can have on a smartphone.
6 Google Body
Google Body’s stunning 3D representations of the human body in all its sinewy, medical diagrammatic glory and welter of handy information helped this ace app get rave notices when it debuted on the Motorola Xoom back in March.
Just days later it was pulled without explanation. The best part of a year later and there’s still no sign of it. Considering it was one of the best educational apps on Android, that’s a real shame.
7 Lego Instructions
Thanks to the mystical chop-socky Ninjago series, Lego is once again at the top of kids’ wish lists this Christmas. But as dedicated pages on tech sites attest, its appeal isn’t restricted to the young ‘uns.
This app is a brilliant repository of step-by-step manuals from existing kits, which is brilliant if you’ve either lost the ones provided or just want a dash of inspiration and helping hand with your off-the-cuff creations.
8 BBC News
Auntie’s Android app features all the video and text content from the BBC site to enjoy on the move. There’s also tools for sharing those ‘and one more thing-style’ skateboarding dog stories and live streams of the BBC News channel if your handset runs Android 2.2 or above.
9 Samurai II Vengeance THD
Gorgeous cel-shaded graphics? Check. Lots of smart hack and slash combos? Check. Intuitive, well-thought out controls? Check. One of the best-realised games on any smartphone platform? Check.
10 AA Parking Android App
A handy little app from the self-proclaimed "fourth emergency service” that takes the aggravation out of finding a parking spot. Includes listings of car parks in your locale, plus the option to compare prices.