10 Windows 8 Apps to Check Out

Nov 20, 2013 apps, bing, computer, 1 Comments
10 Windows 8 Apps to Check Out


A quick look at some Windows 8 apps seems pretty appropriate, considering the operating system has already been through a new revision — Windows 8.1.

I’m going to present a few apps that are for fun, socializing and such. Also, since I know that the work day doesn’t really end when you get home, I’ll share a couple productivity apps. Finally, since widgets are gaining in popularity, there’s one that combines the most popular widgets in a single app.

You can even use some of these Windows 8 apps on your new Xbox One, which is becoming an in-house entertainment center!

10 Great Windows 8 Apps

MyRadar Weather Radar

Windows 8 Apps - Weather Radar ScreenI like to know what the weather is going to be like, so I can plan my errands accordingly. MyRadar Weather Radar is definitely one of the Windows 8 apps that I recommend for planning your outdoor activity. Will you need to bring an umbrella to go shopping, or wear rain gear when you go running? Being able to see up-to-the-minute weather radar will tell you.

Don’t Forget to Tweet About It!

Twitter is the next in my list of “I want these” Windows 8 apps. I don’t use Twitter as much as many, but I do sometimes find it indispensable to get the word out, and find out more information on certain issues near and dear to me. However, if you use Twitter, you’re going to want the app for it.

Netflix App: One of My Favorites

I love Netflix for when there isn’t anything I want to watch on live TV. You can launch the Netflix app and catch up on your favorite series, or maybe that box office smash that you missed in the theaters. Search for your favorite holiday shows or your favorite classics. I like it for finding obscure films in my favorite genres, horror and sci-fi. Some are stinkers, but there are also some gems to be found.

Follow Your Favorite Sports/Teams with ESPN

Windows 8 Apps - ESPNThis is perfect for those that like to stay informed about what’s going on in the world of sports. By syncing with your myESPN account, you can add a personal touch to the app. The app also lets you setup tiles that represent your favorite teams, updating when the score changes. In-depth coverage of select games and access to the podcast library are just two more of the many features the Windows 8 ESPN app has to offer.

The Skype App Lets You Work and Play

Skype has a number of features that lets you have fun and be productive. You can video chat with family and friends, or you can video conference with colleagues and clients. Whether conferencing or chatting, you can type back and forth and also share files and links. You also get the option of just talking with people in text.

One of the coolest things about the Skype app for Windows 8 is that you can split the screen with another app, like a game, and video chat while playing the game together. This is called “Snapping” — You “snap” an app alongside another app.

Of Course, There’s a Dedicated Facebook App for Windows 8

Windows 8 Apps FacebookI couldn’t live without my Facebook, I don’t think. Facebook allowed me to find my oldest friends. It’s the easiest way for me to be able to keep in touch with all of them. The Facebook app is written by the folks at Facebook and lets you do everything you’re used to, but adds a little “pop” to the experience by showing a row of tiles at the bottom of the screen with updates on your newsfeed.

Point and Shoot Text Translation with Bing Translator

If you travel extensively to foreign countries, or are moving to one, this is a must-have. Bing Translator for Windows 8 allows smartphone and tablet owners to simply take a picture of text — like a road sign, menus, etc. — to get it translated. Even better, there’s a text entry feature for when you can’t get a clear picture. I’m definitely looking into this one for my Android mobile devices.

PDF Touch – For PDF Annotation

PDF Touch is great for owners of mobile devices that sometimes need to markup, or change PDF documents. The app lets you highlight and write in different colors, bringing different levels of attention to sections of the document. Corrections can be done in red, while recommendations to give more emphasis to certain sections can be done in blue or yellow.
Windows 8 Apps - PDF Touch App Screen

Stay Up on Your Newsfeeds with Windows 8 RSS Reader

RSS Feed lets you stay on top of the hottest issues of the day, new technologies, and even your favorite celebrities. This is one of the few free Windows 8 apps on this list. Even better, it’s open source. That means that anyone in the user community is allowed to customize it to their needs or improve it, provided certain restrictions are met, like making the changes publicly available and not charging for them. The source code (the actual code that underlies the program) is available on the site, making constant improvement possible.

Widgets Galore with 8GadgetPack

Windows 8 Apps - Screen8GPWindows 7 and mobile device users have grown fond of their widgets. I know I like my clock and weather widget on my tablet and phone. However, 8GadgetPack takes the idea of widgets up several notches by letting you choose from a long list of widgets. You can choose from a clock, the weather, speaker level, a calendar, CPU meter, and your Gmail, just to name a few. In all, there are 50 apps to choose from.

Try out some of these great Windows 8 apps and you’ll see that they make your experience more enjoyable. Let us know if there are some apps you find particularly useful that we didn’t mention!

Photo Credit: Tolbxela


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Mike is a certified low voltage installer with over 10 years of professional experience in the field, much of it working for Cable TV companies. He also has over a decade of experience in the computer field as a network engineer and support specialist. Mike's hobbies include installing high-end audio and video systems.

One Comment

  • Laura

    Got some of the basics listed. Those are must-haves, I agree. A new one that I’ve been really enjoying for video sharing and secure storage is the RealPlayer Cloud app. If you’ve ever experienced issues with having to convert formats, this is a handy option: http://www.real.com/resources/realplayer-cloud-app-windows8/

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