Now, don't take this the wrong way. We still love the HTC Desire and continue to consider it to be the best Android phone currently available in the world today - it's just that HTC's custom HTC Sense user interface isn't to everyone's taste.

Some of the supplied apps have been tweaked a little too much by HTC's eager-to-please software developers, straying so far from the Android norm they're totally unrecognisable – and lacking some of the newer features found in the latest third-party apps found on the Android Market.

So, to redress the balance, we thought we'd compile a list of the best apps for the HTC Desire to help it hold onto its top smartphone status for another year.

Apps that complement the installed options without putting anyone's nose out of joint.

More cool things to put on your HTC Desire, basically.

10. SwiftKey

The HTC Sense QWERTY keyboard is nice, no doubt about that, but it's still basically a last-generation text input system shoehorned onto the Desire. Which, on first look, is also what you get with SwiftKey - it's a nice QWERTY with alternate numbers and characters accessed via a long press.

The magic happens when you start to type, with the keyboard's predictive software doing an amazing job of guessing your next word. And it learns, gradually getting better at it.

Swiftkey

9. myPlayer

By now, your HTC Desire should be up-to-date and running the very latest Android 2.2 OS with the delights of Flash Player 10.1 - and therefore access to the BBC's incredible iPlayer service.

However, iPlayer is all web-based and missing the option to download shows - which is where myPlayer comes in. A simple, stripped-down app, it lists iPlayer content and lets you save shows to SD card. For those who like to collect things.

UPDATE: myPlayer no longer offers BBC iPlayer streams. However, while the BBC streams have been removed, myPlayer does offer streams from other UK TV channels. Thanks to tony_j and backstroker in the comments for the heads up.

myplayer

8. TweetDeck

HTC very kindly supplies its own Peep Twitter app along with HTC Sense, but it's hardly a next-gen, life-empowering, communications mega-hub, is it? Which is why you need TweetDeck instead.

It supports multiple accounts, also integrates your Facebook account messages into one unified timeline, and even lets you use Google's Buzz service at the same time. One of the best apps out there, and super-smooth on the HTC Desire.

TweetDeck

7. Skype

It took a while, but we're finally able to enjoy proper Skype access on our Android phones. The mobile networks won't be happy about it, but the app now lets users make calls via VOIP - using either Wi-Fi or 3G if you're in the UK. An ideal way to make free calls to other Desire-owning app enthusiasts.

Skype

6. Chrome to Phone

Another enhancement made possible thanks to HTC's updating of the Desire to Android 2.2, Chrome 2 Phone does, as they say, what it says on the Android market product description.

Install the app on your phone, install the extension on your Chrome browser, then ping links between desktop and mobile with ease. Shame it doesn't also work the other way round. Maybe in Android 2.3, eh?

Chrome 2 phone

5. Opera Mobile 10.1 beta

The standard Android webkit browser is fast enough on the HTC Desire - but Opera Mobile 10.1 is even faster still. As well as the speed boost, using Opera also removes the shackles of HTC's bizarre limitation on the number of browser tabs you're allowed to have open at any time.

Plus it manages tabs better in the first place. A super browser that's a genuine showcase app on the HTC Desire. But there's no Flash support as yet. Swings and roundabouts.

Opera mobile

4. No Lock

The simplest tool imaginable. No Lock is a widget that enables and disables your Desire's locking screen. Now, as much as we like HTC Sense on the Desire, it's a bit of a pain pressing the power button, then swiping down the unlock screen every time the screensaver kicks in. This stops that annoying 'first world problem'.

But be warned - No Lock lets you wake up your phone and get it instantly usable by pressing any button, so use with caution. Or you'll end up 'pocket calling' previous partners by accident.

No lock

3. IM Plus

It's great that HTC includes the Talk messaging application. Barely a day passes that we don't count our blessings for that act of generosity. But what about MSN? AOL? Some people are still using ICQ for heaven's sake!

Messenger aggregator IM Plus takes care of the lot, offering one unified front end that handles all popular - and incredibly old and near death - internet text chat tools. Great, if you can remember your ICQ number.

IM plus

2. Data checker

Most networks are wising up to our always-on smartphones and billing us accordingly, making it easy to rack up enormous data costs as we sync everything all the time. So install the Data Counter Widget. It'll keep track of your Wi-Fi and cellular data transfer stats, with an easy option to delete all recorded data - so you can start counting data use on the same day your mobile company starts counting, therefore beating the system in some small way.

Data checker

1. gReader

HTC provides a decent RSS reader along with HTC Sense, but it doesn't manage to sync data with your Google account. gReader does, painlessly pulling all your Google reader feeds into one super-simple interface, with easy access to your starred items and all the functionality of the desktop tool.

Also, don't forget that Google itself makes a blindingly fast mobile web app for its Reader web site, if you'd rather stick to the browser.

gReader

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Liked this? Then check out 30 best free Android apps

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