The Windows 8 operating system has its critics and supporters – just like any new technology that has a certain learning curve – but there are some great apps that can help users make the most of their experience. Many of these apps have been developed specifically to take advantage of the speed and touch interface to provide a more immersive experience when you add in a touch-screen all in one computer. There are a lot of great apps available, and you can streamline your experience whether you’re looking for ways to be more productive or just to have more fun.
Productivity and Communications
The Windows 8 Live Tiles were designed to make communications much easier with real time alerts and simple connectivity. More than that, though, there are some great apps that make it easy to sync up all your important information and stay productive wherever you go.
Skype – This is one of the most well-established communications tools on the market, and the app for Windows 8 has been streamlined to make it even easier to use. The intuitive user interface is simple and direct, and it can sync with the contacts in your People Hub and deliver notifications even while you’re using another app.
Evernote – Note taking, information collection, and cloud synchronization come together in Evernote. This simple apple lets you save information from websites or notes and anything else audio files, on your computer which then synchs to the cloud so you can access it later from a mobile device or any other computer.
Remote Desktop – While the concept of using a remote desktop to work on a different Windows machine has been around for a while, this new app improves on the process making it easier than ever before. This new app makes it faster and easier to switch between full screen desktops just by swiping them in from the top left. If you provide service to multiple computers, this can be extremely helpful.
Fun and Entertainment
It’s not all about work, though. The new UI of Windows 8, especially on the big screens of all-in-one computers and the convenient portability of the new tablets, makes it really easy to use and interact with these apps and enjoy a variety of entertainment media.
Picasa Gallery – This is Google’s picture-sharing service, and it’s a simple way to share and save high resolution images. The touch interface of this app makes it easy to browse through public or personal content. The layout fits well with the Windows 8 interface, and it looks great on a large screen.
Pandora – The Windows Phone 8 version of Pandora features the same great music millions of users have enjoyed, but this app will let them access it all without any ads for the rest of the year. It’s simple to use and the live tiles will display a range of information about the currently playing music.
Fresh Paint – Whether you’re running Windows 8 on a tablet or a huge all-in-one, this app is a great example of great multi-touch features. Five simultaneous touches are supported while you create new, digital works of art. There are a number of brushes and pencil tips, and it’s possible to mix the paint to create new colors right on the virtual palette.
Hulu Plus – When it’s time to just sit back and relax, these two apps offer a lot of content, whether you enjoy recent movie releases or want to get caught up on your favorite TV series.
As the Windows Store continues to expand, more of these apps for fun and productivity will become available, and users will be able to get even more out their experience. These apps are really just the beginning, but they’re a great place to start. What are your most-used apps?
Bruno Galera works for Dell and has a passion for technology. When he’s not reading about the latest industry trends, you can find him cooking, reading, cheering on his favorite football team or at a museum enjoying contemporary art and photography.