Android is currently the most popular operating system for mobile devices, along with Apple’s iOS, and there are a lot of reasons to get an Android powered smartphone instead of one of the competing devices. The latest version of the OS, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, brings a lot of great features to the users, but even if you get a phone with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, you can have a great experience.

With over 200,000 android apps on the marketplace, Android is definitely not lacking variety and functionality – it can do pretty much anything you can think of. But there are certain apps that may not seem all that good, but which can change your whole experience and make it better in a lot of ways. Here is just a short collection of some of these android apps:

1. Launcher 7

launcher7

Launcher 7 is one of the most unique home screen replacement apps for Android. As its name suggests, it gives you the Windows Phone 7 Metro UI with tiles and lists instead of the usual icons that Android uses. This makes your phone much more unique, and the customization options are more extensive than on the actual windows Phone 7 OS – you can set custom wallpapers, change the text color, create animated folders, set custom icons and images for the tiles, and more. It’s definitely a unique experience, and everyone will start asking you why your Android phone’s interface is so different.

2. Browser for SkyDrive

Browser-for-SkyDrive

This is a very simple app that gives you a lot more possibilities on Android. It basically lets you use any Microsoft account’s SkyDrive storage space (25 GB are provided free with every Hotmail or LIVE account you register, and you can own multiple accounts, as well). You can easily upload any files for backup, storage or sharing, and the whole operation is just as easy as moving files to and from the micro SD card (just drag and drop what you need). The only thing you’ll need is a fast and stable Wifi or 3G connection.

3. Dolphin HD browser

Dolphin-Browser-HD

While the default Android browser is pretty good, it doesn’t really compare with Dolphin HD’s capabilities – this browser just gives you a whole new experience on Android. You get support for tabs (easy switching), gestures, bookmarks, Flash in the window, and much more. More importantly, the support for themes and plugins lets you further customize the browser to your liking, and there’s a lot of functionality that can be added through third party add-ons, which can even rival the desktop Chrome and Firefox browsers.

4. SwiftKey X keyboard

There are plenty of keyboards out there for Android, but SwiftKey X is the best choice if you want something that is highly customizable and with an out of this world auto correction system. SwiftKey is very good at correcting your mistakes, especially after you’ve used it for a while and taught it how to deal with typos. One of the best things about it is also the ability to change the keyboard size – no longer do you have to type on huge keys on a 4+ inch touch screen!

5. Skype

skype

Skype is a must have app for any smartphone owner – it truly improves everything about a mobile device. With Skype, you can chat and place calls over the Internet to anyone in the world, at very cheap rates and high quality. You can also have one or several numbers that people can use to call you, no matter where you are and what network you’re using at the moment.

There are plenty of other great android apps on the Android marketplace, and seeing as a lot of them are free, there’s no reason not to try those that you think would be useful. Be sure to check out the android apps listed above, though – they’re great on any Android smartphone, and I’m sure you’ll like them!

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