If you’re one of the early adopters of Windows 8, then you’re probably looking for cool new things you can do with your system. Aside from the controversy over the Metro interface (or whatever Microsoft is calling it these days), Windows 8 is chock full with special features that previous versions of Windows did not have.
And thanks to a new Windows Store, it’s now easier than ever to access these features. Try downloading these top 6 apps from the Windows Store today to start getting the most out of your new operating system:
6) TuneIn Radio
If you’re the kind of person who likes to listen to radio as they sit at their computer, then the TuneIn Radio app can help. TuneIn Radio offers a collection of over 70,000 different internet radio stations, and not all of them revolve around music.
Using TuneIn Radio, anyone can listen to sports, comedy, news, or just regular old music. You can even find stations in your local area if you allow the app to access your computer’s location. A list of favorite stations help make this app as useful as possible.
Don’t you hate when somebody brings up a classic book and you have no idea what you’re talking about? Doesn’t it make you feel uneducated? I know I’m not the only one who hasn’t taken the time to read through some classic texts, and fortunately for people like me, the Kindle Store app for Windows 8 allows users to browse through a list of un-copyrighted books.
Some of these books are classic texts that have long outlived their copyright protection. Other books are simply new books that the author has chosen to distribute for free. The Kindle Store app also provides a reader directly on your screen. Left click to turn the page forward, right-click to turn it back. And when you close the app, you can reopen it to the page you were just reading.
Kindle Store isn’t a very complicated app, but it adds some entertainment value to your Windows 8 PC.
OneNoteMX is Microsoft’s popular notetaking app. With OneNoteMX, taking notes across multiple devices is easy. You can scribble notes on your tablet and then read those notes later on your home computer. Since OneNote apps are available for just about every mobile and desktop operating system, retrieving your notes has never been easier.
OneNoteMX also integrates with one of the most useful features of Windows 8 – search – which means finding older notes is a piece of cake. You can also add ‘to-do’ tags to notes and setup different sections and pages.
Make the Windows 8 desktop a little more useful by adding a weather app like WeatherBug. WeatherBug will show the forecast for the next five days in a vibrant, colorful way. The app is clean and minimalistic and the color scheme fits in well with the Windows 8 interface.s
The only problem with WeatherBug is that it’s ad-supported, and the ads can sometimes be irritating. But if that’s the price of using powerful software for free, I don’t mind paying it.
In the old days of Windows 7, you used to have to set wallpapers manually. Every time you wanted to change a wallpaper, you had to go through the painstaking process of finding an image that you liked before right-clicking and choosing Set as wallpaper.
For users who thought this process was too complicated, there is now an app called Daily Wallpapers for Windows 8 that allows users to see a list of attractive and eye-catching images from all over the world. If you want a fresh new look every time you boot up your computer, then the Daily Wallpapers app can help.
Windows 8 has launched with some mysterious usability gaps. One notable gap is the fact that there is no file manager interface on the standard Start screen. Users can’t rename files, for example, or move them around.
Fortunately, the team of programmers behind Metro Commander has figured out how to get around this issue. Metro Commander is a touch-friendly (and mouse friendly) Explorer-like interface that allows users to easily manage files on their desktop. If you’ve been frustrated by the lack of a file manager on various screens in Windows 8, then Metro Commander can certainly help.
You might have noticed that Windows 8 features intuitive connections with services like Facebook and Dropbox from the tile interface. This direct connection is useful, although users who are worried about security might want to take extra precautions.
Fortunately, Norton Satellite is there to help. This app provides minimalistic antivirus protection for specific online services. Instead of clogging up your entire system with scanners and updates, Norton Satellite simply focuses on protecting the apps that attract the majority of virus problems. So, before signing onto Facebook, you’ll see a bright green checkmark below the Facebook link that shows your service is secure.
How does it work? Well, Satellite monitors all of the links on your Facebook feed and alerts you if any links are pointing towards malicious websites. With Dropbox, Satellite checks through the files and makes sure there are no viruses hiding within. Basically, Satellite adds another layer of security onto Windows 8 without sacrificing performance or usability.