A growing number of people may find apps allowing them to use ink supplies to produce items directly from a media tablet useful, as the popularity of these gadgets continues to grow.

According to a study by ABI Research, since Apple's iPad device launched in 2010, owners of the machine are said to have downloaded more than three billion apps.

By comparison, it took the iPhone around two years to hit this mark, while competing format Android has seen tablet app downloads totalling 440 million.

The firm noted there are over 120,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad, which are generally perceived to be of a higher quality than those available for Android machines.

Research associate at ABI Lim Shiyang said: "Many Android tablets in the market are still using older versions of Android, which disadvantages users from enjoying the better effects of apps produced from more advanced software development kits."

Last week, it was stated by Flurry that app downloads on Christmas Day broke all previous records, with 242 million smartphone and tablet programs acquired by users.