Microsoft's Windows 10 has been available since summer, and the overall message is that it's cool. But, to be frank, it's nothing without apps.
We use desktop apps for messaging, mailing, drawing, editing, writing, mapping, playing, gaming, listening, watching, ordering, calling, remembering, listing, browsing, note-taking, organising, and more. Without a multitude of apps to download, an operating system is like a house sans the furniture.
Although it holds things together nicely, we still need ways to get stuff done. Microsoft and other companies know this as well, so to get you playing with their OS upgrades right away, they offer built-in apps that come with their software. They also give developers early builds of the software, so that they can prep their apps come launch day.
Thus, with Windows 10 having been out anyone to install and use for months now, there are plenty of new Windows 10 apps for you to play with, including Microsoft's own apps and third-party apps. To help you get the full Windows 10 experience today, Pocket-lint has rounded up a list of apps you should try.
Browse the list below to see our pick, and if we happened to miss one that you think should be mentioned, feel free to leave us a comment below. Also, check out our Windows 10 hub for related news, reviews, and analysis.
The new Photos app is universal. It handles your collection of photos, getting them organised. You can sort your collections of photos by date, and it will create albums of your life events in order. There are also features to edit your photos, such as an auto-enhance tool, and every photo is safely backed up with a full-res copy in your OneDrive. Once your photo has been edited, you can easily share it via email or set it as your lock screen/desktop background.
Maps is another universial app, so it works great on all screen sizes. According to Mirosoft, it combines features from Bing Maps and HERE Maps. You can pin your favourite locations to your Start menu and share a specific location with a friend via email or to your OneNote. You can also get real-time traffic information, local search results, public transportation options, turn-by-turn navigation. There's even hi-fidelity aerial and street-side views.
Groove Music is the default music app in Windows 10. You can listen to your favorite songs and artists, make your own playlists, and discover new music with custom radio stations based on artists you love. If you want ad-free access to millions of tracks, you can sign up for a Groove Music Pass.
Movies & TV
The Movies & TV app (called Films & TV in the UK) is universal as well. It lets you browse and play through your own video collection or rent movies. You can import your personal video collection, play back your content whether using a mouse, keyboard, touch input, and browse the Windows Store to rent or purchase content. You’ll also find recommendations just for you right from within the Windows Store. And everything syncs between devices, so you pick up where you left off on another.
The built-in Mail app in Windows 10 is integrated with Microsoft Word. In fact, it's built into the authoring experience so you can simply insert tables, add pictures, anduse bullets and colour. It also supports new touch gestures on touch devices to help you easily read, sort, and archive your mail. The new navigation bar is also allows you move freely between your email and your calendar, thus improving your overall productivity.
The Calendar app enables you to manage multiple calendar accounts, view your week’s or month's schedule, and organise your appointments. It's pretty simple but also totally useful.
Even at first glance, Microsoft Edge seems like a vast improvement over Internet Explorer: fast browsing, minimal popups (thanks to a built-in popup blocker), and more importantly, no sporadic crashes. Other features include Readng View (hides clutter), Web notes (lets you scribble on webpages), Reading List (it's like a read-later folder), deep Cortana integration with always-on listening, a news feed, top sites, and a variety of customisation options.
Wunderlist - Windows store
Well, this is technically a Microsoft app.
Wunderlist is a free productivity app recently acquired by Microsoft. You can use it to make lists, store ideas, develop projects, and plan trips. If you want to work with another person, Wunderlist also lets you share lists and collaborate with others. It even syncs between your phone, PC, and tablet, meaning your stuff will be accessible on any device you're using.
Drawboard - Windows store
This is a tool you can use to markeup PDFs. It features has a slick interface and so many options. The app works well with a stylus to boot, so you can use it add handwritten annotations to PDF documents. And it's on-sale for $4.99.
Minecraft - Windows store
This is another Microsoft app, technically, as it was acquired by Microsoft.
This Windows 10 version is in beta byt optimised for any Windows 10 device. It will eventually support Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens, features cross-platform multiplayer, and works with Microsoft's GameDVR.
Plex - Windows store
Plex lets you stream your personal media from any device to your Windows 10 machine. It’s a cross-platform app too, and you'll basically use it to stream any media from one connected device to another. If you have a video stored on your NAS drive, you can use Plex to stream that video to your Windows 10 machine over the internet. It's free but requires a subscription.
VLC Media Player - Windows store
This is an open source player that can handle most audio and video files, including FLAC, MKV, MOV, TS, and ogg. It also offers a media library with a slick interface. This new, free version even works with Windows 8.1.
Words with Friends - Windows Store
Productivity apps are necessary, but so isn't having fun. And with that in mind, we bring you Words with Friends (the game that was a social media hit). It is now available as a Windows 10 app. You can use it on a desktop or laptop or tablet. Just grab a mouse (or your finger) in order to pick tiles up and drop them onto the board. An in-game chat feature also lets you talk to opponents. There's even an option to view scores by total points or word scores.
Adobe Photoshop Express - Windows Store
Adobe Photoshop Express lets you capture pictures and then edit them from within the same app. You can crop, straighten, rotate, flip, adjust colour, and remove red eye on-the-fly. The app has filters too, and for just $2.99, you can order a pack of 20 more. If you want to store photos and videos using Adobe’s Revel cloud-based synching service, you can do that as well. There's also options to share via social networks like Facebook.
Dropbox - Windows Store
In case you aren't in love with OneDrive, there's always Dropbox. It's a universal app that lets you download any files from your Dropbox account, and it lets you view documents and photos. You can also favourite items, auto-upload photos from any device it's installed on, and more. It's also free, though you can get more storage if you subscribe.
Fresh Paint - Windows Store
This is a great drawing tool. We recommend using it on a device with a stylus or touchpen, such as Microsoft’s Surface 3, as it'll just make the doodling process feel much more natural. It features brushes, pencil and pen tips, paints and watercolours, and it lets you use up to five fingers (or input devices). If you want even more brush types and tools, you can pay more too.. The app also exports your drawings as PNG files and can upload them to social media.
Netflix - Windows Store
C'mon. It's Netflix. Plus, the app remembers where you left off and can resume from that point on another device. Other features include support for multiple profiles and the ability to enable or disable subtitles.
Twitter - Windows Store
Twitter's app is universal and supports all the usual stuff, like multiple accounts, lists, video, pictures, and people- and location-tagging. You can also save drafts, edit your profiles, and choose between light and dark themes. The app even pushes notifications, and on Windows phones, you can have it display new tweets on the lock screen.
Flipboard - Windows Store
If you want to create a personalised magazine feed, look no further. Flipboard’s Windows 10 app does just that and lets you access your subscriptions on all your devices. It has a flippable, grid-based design, letting you browse articles with a swipe on touchscreens or mouse on traditional PCs. It's basically a fancy device for reading RSS news at a later time.
Music Maker Jam - Windows Store
This app is for the musician in all of us. You can create hooks with little effort and even choose between dubstep, house music, jazz, or hiphop genres as well as select from various instruments that can be controlled using a touch-operated, slider interface. If that's not enough, you can use the recording function to add your own voice to the mix.