Transform your Android: these daring apps will turn your ordinary user interface into extraordinary


Ah, the beauty of Android. What is it? The term is most commonly used to refer to the platfom's open source nature, which gives app developers a large sandbox to play in. And many have come up with a lot of various ways to enhance user experience beyond the simple app or two. We have custom launchers, custom notification managers, smart alarms, and a lot of unique, be it niche, little software solutions that somewhere, somehow managed to come up with.

The "ordinary" smartphone experience is already well-known to all of us. You have a few homescreens, littered with apps. If you want to start a call, you tap on the phone icon; if you want to text, you start up your favorite chat app; and if you want to follow your social media, you go through your regular apps. It works great – it's comfortable and we're all used to it. But some developers dare challenge even the norm, and come up with apps that, if nothing else, are at least interesting to take a look at.

So, “the beauty of Android” lies in the fact that you can grab the most bare-bones, stock Android device, and still fill it with more bells and whistles than the most bloated manufacturer-made UI out there (nodding at TouchWiz, MIUI, LG UI, and some others). It lies in the choice that is given to the user – from looks to function, everything can be tweaked. So, let's take a look at our favorite apps, which tend to expand or totally transform the way we work with our phones. And do let us know – did you end up keeping any of them?



FEATURED VIDEO

13 Comments

1. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 673; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Flow seems to be the best one. It is heavily inspired by windows mobile though.

2. yourmom

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 21, 2015

which file Explorer do you guys use, I was using ES but it's getting filled with bloat now.. I like solid but it's paid, another? good ones

3. benoita74

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 20, 2015

Using Solid with Lucky Patcher for now, but I'm definitely considering paying for it soon because the development behind it is really solid

4. drifter77

Posts: 400; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

File Commander is what I'm using. Ability to connect to cloud apps, OTG capable, and can do nearly anything ES can do. The free version asks you to upgrade to Premium when you first open the app... but no supported ads. You can also side-load the premium apk and it works flawlessly.

5. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

I've always liked the stock Samsung File Manager, it's very simple. Try to find an apk on XDA

8. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Try xplore. Been around since Symbian. Supports cloud storage, dual pane view, and wifi sharing too. It has a small footprint too.

6. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Samy's UI is too good and feauture-packed. Wonder what's all the hatred against TW on this site and other forums.

7. MaryPoopins

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Bloated MIUI? Said by someone who's never used a Xiaomi phone ever I imagine. Try harder with your subtle jabs, Paul K.

10. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

I held a Xiaomi once, there are chinese apps which are rarely used. Compared to vanilla its bloated, compared to TW is bloatless.

9. avishekmukherjee

Posts: 362; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Flow home is besi I am using it :)

11. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

All I want is BlackBerry's pop-up widgets integrated with Nova Launcher, and I'm happy. I love the freedom Nova Launchers gives, especially when it comes to theming individual app icons.

12. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

On second thought, Snowball looks like it would be a great enhancement for my Notification Center...gonna give it a shot. BTW one advanced app that was discontinued is called Mime-O. It's a clipboard manager on steroids. Some of the very handy functions it offers is definitions wherever you copy a word, Text to Speech wherever you copy text, and ability to share copied text to your Windows PC's clipboard over the WiFi network. Haven't seen anything close to replacing it...

13. Elfmonster unregistered

Wow I just put this Flow thing on because of this. I can't believe how cool this is. Widgets too. They just need to change twitter so I can narrow the stream to lists. Quite cool though. (Got the beta code from their capture twitter trick.)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.