The Android operating system has grown considerably since it was first introduced in 2007, well after Android Inc. was purchased by Google in 2005.  Android was developed in Palo Alto, California, much like many other software programs produced by a variety different software and technology companies, but today, it is seen in multiple different devices all over the world, specifically smartphones and tablet style computers.  And since these are the types of devices that the Android operating system is designed for, there are a wide variety of applications that can be downloaded and used to makes user’s lives simpler, and more fun.

Ever since the introduction of the very first smartphone applications have become a growing trend when it comes to mobile devices, and these days Android owners can find an application to do almost anything.  In fact, there are more than 300,000 Android applications that users have to choose from that can be installed on their Android capable device.  Certain applications, though, of course stand out more than the rest, and there are five in particular that likely made many Android user’s favorites list this past year.

1. Google Sky Map

Google Sky Map is not necessarily a mapping application that you need, but it is definitely a fun one to have.  This Android app allows users to to view an accurate representation of the sky in real time.  All a user has to do is point their Android device toward the sky and they will see whatever constellations, or other objects in the sky, that lay above.

2. RAC Traffic

Nobody likes to deal with traffic delays but sometimes they simply cannot be avoided, that is unless you have the Android RAC Traffic app.  The user doesn’t even have to do anything, because the app locates the user based on their phone signal and automatically updates them on traffic delays in their specific geographical location.

3. Shareprice

Shareprice is an Android app that keeps users of a specific financial website up-to-date on their share prices.  This is a great way for certain investors to have real time updates on their stock, so that they can act quickly when things head down the wrong road.

4. Amazon Kindle

The Kindle is great, but not everyone can afford one, or even really desires one.  A Kindle app on Android devices, though, is a different story.  A e-reader doesn’t get much more portable than being installed on your smartphone.  With the Kindle app you can do many of the same things you can with the usual Kindle, only on a much more portable basis.

5. Yelp

Yelp is a great tool for individuals with a highly active social life, those that love to go out to eat, and to movies and shows and clubs.  The Yelp app allows users to instantly find something to do wherever they are by simply aiming toward the sky and waiting for the Android Yelp app to tell them what is in the immediate area.  Socializing has never been so easy, nor so much fun.

These may be only a few of the hundreds of thousands of Android apps, and even better ones may come out next year, but for the time being, these are some of the coolest and best available.  It’s amazing just how simple Android owners can make their lives with easy to use apps such as these.