If you read my last post you must have felt I am the worst kind of pessimist there is. I still stand by my verdict and expect a lot of irritated PC users. Even then, I must say there are some really great apps on the Windows 8 Store. These apps have been designed specifically for the Metro UI and are therefore clean and elegant. The clean, elegant and yet vibrant design along with the crisp text and sharp edges makes them look all the more desirable.
Here I will list some of the best apps you can download from the Windows 8 Store absolutely free-
1. Mail- Apparently no other app is available that is as simple and useful for handling e-mails like the default Mail app in Windows 8. This app can handle several accounts and its arrangement is quite efficient and simple.
2. Video, Music- The Video app is the default app for playing videos in Windows 8. Though it has a clean interface and displays all the videos in the library like in Media Center (Desktop app), it is more optimised for the touch-screens rather than PCs. Same is also the case for the Music app. But it has the advantage that you can use it with other apps on the side and is quite handy in that mode.
3. Messaging- This might not be a favourite for everyone but it still does the job. You can chat with several people and do other tasks at the same time. I am doing exactly the same (BTW Mexico won the Gold in Football). Its limitation is that it allows you to chat or send messages only to those who are online. You can use Google, Facebook and MySpace accounts to chat.
4. Photos- The photos app is as good as any other app on Windows 8- simple, clean, unified and efficient. It does what it should do- display photos. It also allows you to access photos in your Flickr gallery, Facebook and SkyDrive account. There is a slideshow option for your photos. You can set any photo as your wallpaper, lock screen background or App Tile background of the Photos App. We may get option to set the tile background of other apps in the future. Again, like the Video app, it feels like it would behave better on touch-screens.
5. News, Sport, Travel and Finance- All these apps are sourced from Bing and are updated regularly to show the latest news updates, stocks and sports scores. You can get news from other sources as well. As for the sports you can select your favourite teams to get their scores in real-time. Travel app shows news about tourism and special features about popular tourist destinations. Finance gives you the stocks in real-time along with news, currency exchanges and prices of commodities. These are really helpful to keep a tab on current happenings around the world and look really great.
6. Evernote- Evernote is a popular cloud-based service and its Windows 8 app is well designed too. you can create notes, sync them and read your other notes and edit them; basically what you do with Evernote. It is a great tool for writing something!
7. TweeTRO- If you are a twitterati and spend a lot of time tweeting and retweeting the tweets of Twitterland, then this is just the app for you. It has separate sections for your timeline, your recent tweets and photos.
8. OneNote MX- If you used OneNote in Office 2007 extensively, then you will love this app even more. It has an innovative interface and a single button menu for addition of tables, pictures etc. You can create new notebooks, new sections and notes. The background colour changes according to the sections.
9. Wikipedia- Our favourite online encyclopedia i.e. Wikipedia is available as an app on the app store. Its aesthetic design invites you to read more and drink deep from their database of knowledge. Its homepage shows the featured articles, what happened on this day in the previous years and recent changes made to existing articles. You can also search for terms using the Search function in the charms bar.
10. FreshPaint- Fresh Paint is a great app whether you are in the mood to doodle or paint a Mona Lisa! It offers a wide array of brushes and you can also choose different types of paper or canvas. The colours behave realistically i.e. colours blend and are smudged when one colour is applied over another. You can use brushes or crayons to paint your masterpiece. There is an undo button in case you went a little too far with that flow! Kids and adults alike will enjoy this artistic app.
Sadly there is no app for Facebook but you can keep up with the updates through the People app and can chat with your Facebook friends through the Messaging app. But a stand-alone app for Facebook would be really great for everyone (on Facebook). We should be getting one as soon as Windows 8 is formally released in October.
Once the retail version of Windows 8 is released there will be a huge boost in the number and quality of apps. But looking at the apps already in the Store, we will surely have some fantastic apps in the future. We haven’t mentioned any game in this list even though several wonderful titles are indeed available. We will talk about them later. Till then, go paint your masterpiece and share it with us!
Please Note- we have got these apps from the Store visible on the Release Preview version. It may or may not be available in the previous versions.