The question of whether Android users really value mobile applications has been answered in the affirmative, according to a new Nielsen report.

Nielsen has found that Android users on average spend around 37 minutes per day using mobile applications while spending just 18 minutes per day using the mobile Web. But that doesn't mean that all mobile app developers are rolling in cash since Nielsen also finds that the ten most popular mobile applications account for 43% of all app use and that the top 50 apps account for 61% of all app use. The remaining 249,950 or so apps on the Android Market, meanwhile, are fighting for scraps as they account for just 39% of all app use.

Nielsen recorded its data on smartphone use as part of its new Nielsen Smartphone Analytics project that "tracks and analyses data from on-device meters installed on thousands of iOS and Android smartphones." Nielsen will presumably release data on Apple iPhone use sometime in the near future. The firm has also scheduled a webinar for Sept. 15 to talk about more of its findings on Android devices.

Mobile applications have become an increasingly popular feature of smartphones over the past couple of years, especially with the high-profile launches of application shopping centers such as Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market. Survey data released earlier this year from research firm ChangeWave showed that 14% of smartphone users said that applications were what they liked best about new smartphones, followed by ease of use (12%) and Internet access (12%). Games have proven to be the most popular mobile application, as data released last month from Nielsen showed that 64% of mobile phone users have used their device to play a game within the last month.

Apple last month reported that it had served 15 billion downloads from its online App Store while the Google Android Market Google reportedly hit the 4.5 billion download mark in June. Google has been working on a new version of Android, currently code-named "Ice Cream Sandwich," that will supposedly optimize mobile applications for a wide variety of mobile devices, including Android-based tablets such as the Motorola Xoom.