If you have invested in the virtual currency Bitcoin, the chances are that you want to be able to send and receive Bitcoin payments on your smartphone device.

Whilst there are a number of options available to Bitcoin investors, a dedicated Android app that could facilitate the sending and receiving of Bitcoins and support additional Bitcoin features had not been forthcoming – until today.

Bitcoin for Android is a new application which operates as a fully functional Bitcoin wallet. Available on the Android Market, the app supports the scanning of QR codes to initiate transactions, allows users to email invoices from their device to request money and can even process payments without an Internet connection by waiting to send transactions when a connection is restored.

The application natively supports the Bitcoin URI format and backs up a user’s wallet file to the Cloud by synchronising it to a user’s Google account – useful if a user loses their phone.

The code for the app is completely open-source and has been posted to GitHub for users to be able to personally assess the code, so they aren’t the subject of a Bitcoin theft like other Bitcoin investors have experienced.

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App creator Brian Armstrong suggests following a small set of instructions to use Bitcoin for Android:

For best results, install the app while connected to WiFi (it will download some data the first time you launch it).

Next, get a few coins in your wallet by starting the app and tapping “Request Money”. From here you can send a request to yourself by email. The request will contain your wallet’s receive address which you can paste into your desktop client or the bitcoin faucet to add funds to your wallet.

A number of features are planned for the next release, including the ability to secure the app with a PIN, allow users to generate more than one receive address and make cloud backups optional.

The app is still in a testing phase so it should be used with caution.