Ways To Make Android Phones More Awesome

Your Android phone has a lot of features baked in from the start, but what if you want better? There are some amazing (and free) third-party replacements for the stock
20 Apr 2015 10:43
Ways To Make Android Phones More Awesome

Your Android phone has a lot of features baked in from the start, but what if you want better? There are some amazing (and free) third-party replacements for the stock features of any Android phone.

Here are some awesome apps that we recommend to make your Android device even more awesome than it already is….


Every phone maker tweaks the camera app with various features and interface. However, Google offers its own camera app for free in the Play Store for anyone to use.

While it has a basic interface, it offers features like photosphere, 360-degree panoramas and the option to capture images during video recording. There is also a useful lens-blur feature that lets you control the depth of field in a photo (post capture).

If you’re looking for an app that gives you tons of effects, editing, manual controls & filters, try Camera 360 Ultimate.


The basic phone dialler does nothing apart from dial numbers. The free Truedialer (by True Caller) replaces the default contacts & dialler and lets you quickly search for numbers beyond your phonebook because it integrates with True Caller’s online database.

You won’t have to see unknown numbers in the call log either because the app will automatically add info (where available).

Call Recorder

This one is a little tricky to pull off since many hardware makers will block access, which means that either your voice will be recorded or the caller’s – but not both. In some cases it can be blocked completely.

For call recording to work, both voices should be recorded clearly. Try apps like RMC: Android Call Recorder, HD Call recorder, Total Call recorder or Call Recorder ACR (and use the speakerphone while talking in case only one side is recorded). Some apps introduce a tiny beep into the recording but if not, it’s also good practice to inform the other party that the call is being recorded.

File Manager

Even if you have a basic file explorer on your Android phone, ES File Explorer is still worth a look simply because it integrates so many different functions into a lightweight app.

Apart from the usual finding, cut, copy paste functions, it can manage installed apps (uninstall too), function as a cloud storage client (compatible with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box and others), kill tasks to free RAM, manage downloads and act as a remote file manager (manage phone files from a computer).

It supports playback of all sorts of files and supports ZIP and RAR files natively.

Scanner and PDF maker

Since smartphone cameras are getting better with every new launch, you don’t really need a scanner unless you need very high quality results.

The most popular free app you can get is CamScanner — it helps you capture a photo of a document, cleans it up and saves it as a PDF. It does place a watermark on the scan but it’s fairly unobtrusive.

You can pay to remove watermarks and ads — plus add more features like optical character recognition (OCR) and online storage.



Even if you think the default keyboard on your Android is great, it might help to try out something else (you might end up saving time by customising it to your needs or typing faster thanks to better prediction and swipe input).

Swiftkey gives you over 70 themes, adjustable keyboard sizes and personalised predictions. Swype gets used to your style and stays with you if you change devices. Others that are worth a shot are Fleksy and TouchPal.


There’s not much to complain about Google Calendar app on Android. However, if you want a better looking app with additional features, give the free SolCalendar a try.

SolCalendar lets you sync with other calendars you may be using (Google, Yahoo, iCloud, Exchange) and shows an easy-to-understand month view with easily visible highlights. You can also take a quick look at the weather, set recurring alarms, view your agenda on a day-by-day basis as well as maintain a to-do list — all in single app.

The next best option is the free Cal app which has a beautiful layout but doesn’t offer as many features.

Image Gallery

The default gallery app on most phones is good enough just for viewing images. However, there are third party apps that offer you much more. We recommended QuickPic. It’s faster, gives you multiple view options (stacks, grid, lists), colour themes, cloud storage support, Wi-Fi transfer, password-locked secure folders and even built-in editor.

You can also look at the free Cyanogen gallery app that lets you manage local as well as cloud-based photos and videos. It also automatically sorts photos into smart folders using the location/date metadata.


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