Android is an operating system (OS) used on some mobile phones. Android has become increasingly popular, with millions of users worldwide. Part of the appeal of the Android operating system is that it allows for open-source development. This makes it possible for almost anyone to create applications (apps) for use with Android phones. This has led to a wide and varied range of useful and enjoyable Android apps, many of which are free. Try these 8 must-have free apps for your Android phone.

1) Evernote

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Evernote is an online storage facility for keeping and organizing notes, files, photographs and other kinds of documents. It allows you to capture pieces of information from the Internet, such as articles, images and even entire web pages, to store in your Evernote account. Evernote synchronizes your phone, computer and online account to give you instant access to all of your documents, wherever and whenever you may need them.

2) TweetDeck

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TweetDeck is a social networking tool that allows you to keep track of multiple Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Buzz accounts, all in one compact application. TweetDeck uses side-by-side panels to keep you updated on all of your social networking activity. You can send and reply to messages, update your status, check your timeline and even sign in to multiple accounts at the same time.

3) Google Maps

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Google Maps provides up-to-the-minute travel information, as well as detailed maps of almost everywhere in the world. Google Maps for Android can serve as a GPS satellite navigation device, and provide live traffic information to help you avoid road works, congestion and traffic accidents. Google Maps also provides travel information and directions for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists.

4) Amazon Kindle

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Kindle for Android allows you to read Kindle books and PDF files on your phone. You can buy books from the Amazon Kindle store and download them directly to your device. Kindle for Android also allows you to customize the reading options, such as background colour, text size and screen brightness.

5) YouTube

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The YouTube app for Android allows you to watch your favourite YouTube videos from your phone. It has a simple-to-use interface that makes it easy to search for videos, add them to your favourites or “watch later” list, view related content, read comments and subscribe to channels.

6) Angry Birds

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Angry Birds is a hugely popular and addictive strategy game developed by Rovio Mobile. It was originally made for Apple phones, but has since been made available to Android users. Angry Birds is one of the most popular apps of all time, with millions of downloads to date.

7) Google Reader (Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013)

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Google Reader is an RSS feed reader that allows you to view all of your RSS feeds in one place. You can also customize the settings for easier viewing. Keep up to date with your favourite websites by adding their RSS feeds to Google Reader, and then reading them on your Android phone.

8) EBay

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The eBay app for Android provides an easy way to keep track of all your eBay activity while on the move. Using the eBay app, you can search for products, browse categories, bid on items, buy, sell, leave feedback, send and receive messages and much more. The eBay app also includes the option to scan barcodes to make it easier to identify products. There is a wide range of free applications available for the Android phone, many of which can help to improve your Android experience. However, make sure that the applications come from a reputable source, as downloading applications can put your phone at risk of damage from malicious sources.