It’s time to leave your old desktop programs behind, and to get in touch with some useful no-cost apps made for Microsoft’s Modern interface.I listed some of the best apps for your Windows 8 PC.
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Best Apps For Your Windows 8
When Microsoft chose to show off Windows 8’s finger friendliness its own Fresh Paint, it did so for a very good reason: unlike the so-so desktop Paint program, Fresh Paint is a blast to use. The simple act of swiping your finger across your screen to paint digital pictures has never been so fun and seamless. Some of the app’s most robust features are available only in premium download packs, but the basic app should suffice for most people.
The Windows Store is strong on music-streaming options. From iHeartRadio to TuneIn Radio to Xbox Music, the store has all sorts of free possibilities. But Slacker Radio may be the best streaming music app for Windows 8. The free version has dozens of DJ-curated radio stations in multiple genres, and lets you have Slacker create stations around artists of your choice. Premium subscriptions ditch the ads and unlock on-demand playback.
For people who like watching music videos, the Vevo app is a great free option. Vevo’s eye-catching design works superbly with touchscreen devices, and the service streams live concerts and more than 75,000 HD music videos. Don’t feel like sifting through Vevo’s massive collection of music for suitable gems. It also offers personalized playlist capabilities and Vevo TV – in essence a digital version of a broadcast music channel.
Windows 8 suffers from a dearth of lightweight image editors. Instagram is a no-show, and even Adobe’s Photoshop Express isn’t especially appealing. But Fhotoroom, a Windows Phone transplant, packs editing tools, picture frames, filters and more to help you add finishing touches to camera shots no larger than 4Mp. (A paid version removes that file-size restriction and adds a few more tricks.) Even if you don’t choose to participate in Fhotoroom’s social network, you can share your pictures on Twitter, Facebook or Flickr.
If you have an Xbox 360 or Xbox One, Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass is a must-have app. The app displays secondary maps, weapon-selection screens, secrets and more information tied to the game you’re playing on your Xbox. Although support for current-generation games has been rather light, second-screen apps are starting to catch on as convenient companions to big-name games and SmartGlass is the most polished one around.
Although dozens of YouTube players have sprung up in the Windows Store to fill the void created by the absence of YouTube itself, most are uninspired web wrappers. Hyper is streets ahead of its rivals. Besides sporting a usable and attractive black-and-red design, it offers video quality options and YouTube Account support. The start screen shows most popular and favorite videos, and you can download videos.
The Windows 8 app for Twitter isn’t as seamless as the social network’s web client. But Twitter’s central streambased design works very well with Microsoft’s Modern interface, and the app is much easier to poke and prod than the web version. The Twitter app also ties in well with various Windows 8 extras – in particular, the ability to snap the app to the side of your screen and receive system-wide notifications.
A creative product of Microsoft Research, Blink Cliplets makes it possible for you to upload a video clip, select a single frame and set it as a static image, then select elements of the video to leave in motion over that static image. For example, you could put together a still picture of an Italian fountain in which the water flows, or an image of a fire in a fireplace with flickering flames and curling wisps of smoke.
In a world without the now-defunct Google Reader, the Windows 8–exclusive News Bento has a lot going for it. This newsreader is done up in the usual Flipboard style, but its newspaper-inspired look matches the overall feel of Microsoft’s OS – and its visual format suits touchscreen devices nicely. If you’re looking for a way to keep track of the flood of news from your favorite websites, get this app. You can also add any RSS feed you like
You could spend countless happy hours browsing the collection of intriguing drink recipes available at Cocktail Flow, all of them searchable through various filters and the Charms bar. Cocktail Flow also includes extras such as bartender guides, recommendations for drinks similar to the one you’re currently viewing, and the ability to keep track of your favorite drinks as well as all the booze you keep stocked in your drinks cabinet.