The Android OS is highly customizable, thanks to widgets and other tools for tweaking phone controls, as well as the overall look and feel.
Many phones themselves can support up to seven home screens, and some even more, handy if you want separate launch pads for games or work-related apps.
Pressing and holding the home screen key launches an easy way to organize the home screens with widgets, apps, and shortcuts.
Customized via widgets, the OS lets you gather and present in a single view, contacts, calendar appointments, and other data from online sources. You can group apps into folders to conserve desktop space and prevent clutter and stash little-used apps in a separate app drawer.
The Android OS provides fine text-editing tools, more controls for managing data usage, and enhanced voice-activated navigation and dictation.
Various models offer on-screen multitasking, screens that won't time out while you're viewing Web pages or documents, and split screen views for e-mail or messages. Though, with some models there isn't a way to close all recent apps at once, a convenience found with many other phones.
Some larger models let you shrink the dial pad and keyboard and slide them to either side of the phone's screen to bring them closer to your thumbs in portrait mode.
The interface and features can vary greatly from phone to phone, and OS updates can radically change features.
The interface of latest version Android, Lollipop, offers absorbing visual cues throughout via color, spacing, shading, graphic elements, and type, including in e-mail, settings, layouts, and more.
It also improves notifications from calls, apps, social media, and so on. You can, for example, view and respond to messages from a locked screen.
Priority can be set for certain contacts or notification types such as messaging vs email vs facebook messages, etc. You can also set which notifications from which contacts will result in an alert.
Many of the interfaces are pre-customized by the handset maker, such as HTC's Sense, Motorola's Motoblur, and Samsung's TouchWiz, so before you invest in a new phone try it out.