23/08/2012 17:15 | By Stuart Dredge, contributor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Pinterest: app review

The world's most popular social network for pictures is live for Android.

Pinterest (© Pinterest)

What is it?
Describing itself as a "virtual pinboard", Pinterest wants to get people sharing things they find online, presenting them in colourful... Well, virtual pinboards about covers it. And this is its app.

Coolest feature
The ability to create pins on the device, as well as browsing those collected by other people.

Android - free

The excitement around Pinterest is reflected in the fact that its Android app has already been downloaded more than 500,000 times in a few days since launching. Pent-up demand, given that it launched on iOS back in May 2011.

If Pinterest is new to you, here's a primer on the hype. Styled as a "virtual pinboard", Pinterest aims to be a place where you collect pictures, links and interesting bits of web content, presented in picture-heavy grids, with social features around them.

Or, if you prefer, it's Tumblr meets Flickr meets Delicious, with a big skew towards women rather than male geeks - the traditional heartland for whizzy web startups.

The fact that Pinterest itself suggests wedding-planning, home decoration and recipe-curation as key use cases shows its lifestyle emphasis, although a.) It's 2012! Men can do all these things too! and b.) Pinterest's appeal is that it's open to any use you can put it to, whatever your gender or interests.

Anyway, the app, which is free to download and use. Fire it up, log in to your Pinterest account, and you'll be presented with a vertically-scrolling grid of recent 'pins' from the people you follow.

Tap on one, and it fills the screen, enabling you to Like it, post a comment, 'repin' it for your own followers, or tap through to whatever webpage it's linked to in your Android device's web browser.

A little icon at the top of the screen takes you to your Pinterest profile, meanwhile, to see who you're following and being followed by, find Facebook friends on Pinterest or invite new contacts, and change your Twitter/Facebook login settings.

To dig beyond your network, you can tap on a search button and then browse popular pins from the entire Pinterest community, or filter them by categories including Art, Celebrities, Food & Drink, Gardening, Geek and Men's or Women's Fashion.

By its nature, Pinterest looks good on a smartphone - and even better on a tablet - as you swipe through your timeline of pins. The app is quick and slick to use, including when creating your own new pins using your device's camera.

The fact remains that Pinterest is only really useful once you've thought of a use (or two, or three) for it: either your own pins or those of other people. But if you've got the bug and have been champing at the bit to get Pinterest on your Android device, this app won't disappoint.

5 stars