Best of All Brands: 3 Exclusive Apps that Routinely Show Up on Other Smartphones

There is no such thing as a perfect smartphone. One has the perfect screen, another, the perfect camera, and there are myriad other features that are just a bit better thought-out, more user-friendly, perhaps making better use of the given resources than any other.

This goes especially for the built-in features of smartphones – these are apps, too, built into the software of each smartphone brand to replace the default variant delivered together with Android. Normally, an app or feature built for one smartphone would not be available on another.

I say “normally” because, thanks to the massive developer community online, they routinely get “ported” to models built by other smartphone manufacturers. Here are some of the best such apps that were made cross-platform by the community.

Google Camera

While its feature set may lack some of the perks this year’s top photo apps provide, Google’s home-grown camera app is desired by many on their phones.

Among its features, you find dual-exposure controls for HDR+, a great Night Sight, digital zoom that keeps the pictures sharp, and Top Shot, an extension that automatically recommends the best shot of a series taken.

As you might expect, the Google Camera app has been ported to a series of other smartphones, ranging from the Essential Phone to ZTE’s Axon 7. Installing most of them, though, requires root access – this can valid the phone’s warranty, so venture into it only if you know what you’re doing.

Xperia Keyboard

Sony’s Xperia phones may not stand out with many of their flashy features – they usually pale behind the flagships launched by the likes of Samsung and Huawei. Still, it has its attractive features – and its keyboard app is one of them.

The Xperia Keyboard doesn’t come with flashy features like a built-in GIF search engine – what it does, in turn, is deliver a solid performance every time you use it.

It comes with downloadable language packs, one of the best voice inputs on the market today (that will even handle switching between languages mid-sentence pretty well) and just enough options to customize it to make it feel your own.

The Xperia Keyboard app was briefly available for download via the Google Play at the time of Android 4.2 but it was later pulled and made available to Sony owners only. Thanks to the community of developers over at XDA, it is now ported to a series of other handsets – and it can be installed without root access.

One UI

When Samsung launches a brand new flagship, it also comes with a brand new user interface that is exclusive to the new flagship – at least for a while. But people are impatient and want to try the new UI on their own phone even before it’s officially rolled out. This is where the developer community comes in, porting the new UI to all compatible phones pretty quickly.

One UI 2.0 is officially available on Android 10 phones like the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e but an unofficial update to OneUI 2.0 has already been released for all phones compatible with OneUI 1.0.

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