Are You App-Happy with Android? Nielsen Ranks Most Popular Apps by Age

We all have our favorite smartphone apps, a go-to collection that we use more often than any others, and for Android users 18 years and older living in the U.S., they consist of Facebook and apps from Google like Gmail and the Android Market, according to data released by market research firm Nielsen. In fact, Google's Android Market ranked as the most popular app in all three age categories (18-24, 25-34, and 35-44), a good sign that means the masses aren't out there plucking apps from unreliable and potentially dangerous sources.

If we discount the Android Market, which is the default vehicle of choice for installing apps in the first place, Facebook ranks next as the most popular app in all three age categories. Around 80 percent of Android smartphone users in the U.S. between the ages of 18-24 and 25-34 use Facebook the most, and more than three-quarters -- 77 percent -- of users ages 35-44 are in the same boat.

Angry Birds is up there too, but perhaps not as high as you think, ranking anywhere from 22 percent to 35 percent, sitting behind YouTube, Google Maps, and in some cases, Pandora and Words With Friends.

Which apps are driving your smartphone experience?

Nielsen's data also reveals shopping tendencies.

"Apart from gaming, the 35-44 segment demonstrates a greater inclination to shop using the Amazon AppStore: 24 percent of them used the app in the last 30 days, while only 14 percent of those 18-24 did the same," Nielsen says. "Groupon appeals more to those 25-34, not even making the top 20 ranking for those 18-24. A similar trend was found on Google+: active reach was higher for those 25 and older when compared to the 18-24 demographic."

Which apps do you use most often, regardless of the mobile platform?