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Here in the UK more and more residents are purchasing smart-phones, but as intuitive as they have now become for new users, knowing the best apps is just as important. It is important to know how to make the most of your new toy and turn it into the ultimate entertainment and social tool. So here, in no particular order, is a list of the 10 best android apps 2011 for beginners.

Gmail

gmail-android

Reviews score on Android Market 4.5/5

With Android being a Google product, Gmail was always going to excel. The app lets you integrate with your contacts and other apps. Features include: Multiple accounts capability, access to synched messages even if you are not connected to the internet and emails are instantly pushed through straight to your phone.

Cost: Free

eBay

ebay-android

Reviews score on Android Market 4.2/5

If you have surfed the internet, or even watched TV in the past 5 years, you will have heard of Ebay, the online line bidding forum. Described as simple to use on the Android site, the Ebay app let’s you bid, buy and sell items directly from your phone. You can receive alerts when your item is ending, contact the buyer, as well as revise and relist your items when needed.

Cost: Free

Star Chart

star-chart-android

Reviews score on Android Market 4.3/5

Since the dawn of time… Ok I will spare you the cliqued intro, but we have been gazing at the starts in wonderment for generations (but now we know they are just burning caldrons of gases light-years away…stupid science). Anyway, this cool little app takes star gazing to a new level; hold it up to the night sky and it will chart the constellations for you, and that my dear, is called augmented reality!

Cost: £1.99

Netcounter

Netcounter-android

Reviews score on Android Market 4.5/5

From the impressive to the highly practical, Netcounter tells you how much data you have used across call and wi-fi, so you can watch out for the data cap on your tariff, which is very useful. You can break it down by day, week, month and total.

Cost: Free

Barcode scanner

Barcode-scanner-android

Reviews score on Android Market 4.3/5

Compare prices instantly with the Barcode scanner. Fast and very useful this will scan an item’s barcode and find reviews and prices of that item. My friend used it in a charity shop once and found an item for only a couple of pounds was selling on Ebay for a lot more, but just generally researching any prices is made easier with this app.

Cost: Free

Flixster

Flixster

Reviews score on Android Market 4.5/5

Flixter is the number one app for all your movie entertainment needs! You can read reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, watch trailers, browse DVD’s and even view local theatres. It has great reviews across the board, claiming smooth running, clear trailers and great usability – so if you don’t know what movie you want to watch, this app with help you decide!

Cost: Free

Seesmic

sessmic

Reviews score on Android Market 4.5/5

If you are a bit of a social butterfly, you will need an app that will give you wings. Seesmic is the best way to manage your social networks, updating Facebook, Twitter and other accounts is made easy, as well as sharing media, including videos. Their useful widget ensures you are always fully updated.

Cost: Free

Angry birds

Angry-Birds-android

Reviews score on Android Market 4.6/5

Yes the Finnish puzzle game was an international phenomenon and for those of us just catching up with the smart phone or tablet pc revolution, it is a must have. Control a flock of birds and retrieve eggs from the evil green pigs – angry birds is a great car journey game that will get you addicted! It also has the highest scoring user review on this list!

Cost: Free

Google Navigation

Google-maps-Android

Reviews score on Android Market 4.4/5

Have you noticed a lot less paper in the world? Well, this app envelops the reason why. It literally is a huge map in a tiny phone (or tablet). And it comes complete with voice-guided GPS, and places, where you can rate and recommend, as well as giving you the ability to see you friends on the map (can anybody thing of the hazards that could bring?). Overall this gets great reviews and if you are like me and born with no sense of direction, Google navigation is a must!

Cost: Free

Spotify

spotify

Reviews score on Android Market 4.3/5

If you love music, you will love this app! Spotify provides literally millions of tunes to your smart phone, you can also sync the tunes and even play them offline, it is great for listening to music while you work, or even exercise. Again this app gets a number of great reviews, particularly praising the range of music and ease of playlist back play offline.

Cost: Free

So if you have got a new android tablet or smart phone go to the “Market” and search for any of these apps that have taken your fancy, it is easier than you think!

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