A recent Nielsen study of Indian mobile usage has revealed that Android is the dominant operating system of choice, and has even been attributed to the smartphone explosion in the country, earning itself the leading spot in shipments in the last quarter.

So how are Indian smartphone users wiling away the hours on their Android phones? According to Nielsen, 25% of their time is spent using Google’s own apps, while other apps take up the remaining 75%.

Breaking down which Google apps are most popular, you’ll find that actually 35% of users time is spent in the Android Market, which no doubt skews the numbers a little. YouTube comes in at second place with 21%, followed by Gmail, Gtalk and Google Maps.

shareofapps Google apps dominate the Indian Android experience, but lose the social network audience

When it comes to app categories, it isn’t at all surprising to find that Facebook is in the top spot of social networking apps. As is to be expected, Google dominates the GPS, Video, Email, App Store and Search categories. Android’s strength lies in the fact that it is so closely integrated with all of Google’s products, and it isn’t the least bit surprising to find that India’s Android users prefer to use apps that have been tailored to the operating system.

social networks Google apps dominate the Indian Android experience, but lose the social network audience

When it comes to time-spent, Google apps dominate in 3 out of 5 categories. In search, GPS and email, Google comes out on top – with three of its strongest online products. While YouTube is the most popular video of choice, Google is getting less than half of users’ time spent on streaming video, while barely making a dent in chat and social networking apps.

timespent Google apps dominate the Indian Android experience, but lose the social network audience

Across all age groups from the under 18s to 36-to-40-year-olds, Google app usage’s reach standing between 30 and 40%, dropping to under 20% in the 40+ age group.

age Google apps dominate the Indian Android experience, but lose the social network audienceWhile Google’s apps dominate on its own operating system, it would be interesting to see a comparison of how Google apps fare on other operating systems, such as iOS, where several of Apple’s own apps are probably in the leading spots.