How to supercharge your Samsung Galaxy S II

Pining after a Samsung Galaxy S3? Maybe these apps will restore some shine back to your trusty Galaxy S II's lustre

If you've been wooed by the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S3 and you've still got some sand left in your Galaxy S II's contract hourglass then fret not – we've rounded up five of the best apps to breathe some new life into your trusty Samsung Galaxy S II handset.

Apex launcher £free

Launchers are the most drastic facelift you can give any Android device, and Apex Launcher is one of the fastest ones we've tried. Features include eye-catching transitions (with more available in the pro version), tonnes of customisations including the ability to arrange apps into folders on your homescreen and hiding the status bar.

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Swiftkey X Keyboard £1.86

Touchscreen keyboards have come a long way since they first emerged from the smartphone primordial ooze, but SwiftKey's ability to learn your writing style from Gmail, Facebook and Twitter, coupled with its scarily accurate predictions, makes it the Android keyboard to beat. Look out for the upcoming version 3 (pictured above) and its fancy new features, currently in beta.

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GO SMS Pro £free

There's nothing wrong with the Galaxy S II's native SMS app, but those of you looking to spruce things up a bit will be in colour coordination heaven with GO SMS Pro's ability to be re-skinned in any manner you see fit. You can choose from hundreds of ready-made themes, or you can even make your own if you're feeling particularly creative. We're also big fans of the pop up notification box, from which you can reply to messages straight away within any current app.

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Camera FV-5 £2.47

The Galaxy S II is rocking an 8MP camera like it's newer Samsung Galaxy S3 brother. Give it a bit of an extra edge with this camera app which offers DSLR-like features which include the ability to capture raw photographs for better post-processing results. Other variables like ISO, focusing and white balance are also all adjustable – ideal for enthusiastic shutter bugs.

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Advanced Task Killer £free

Ok, so a task killer might not be the sexiest way to pimp out your Samsung Galaxy S II, but it's quite a useful feature for any gadgeteer who wants to make sure apps are definitely shut when they're done with them. A handy auto-kill feature means you can run it and forget about it, ensuring your phone runs smoothly without getting bogged down in open apps.

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