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If you recently purchased Windows 8, then you’re probably excited about discovering some cool new apps. Here are some good app suggestions that will get you started:
8) Windows 8 Cheat Keys
Windows 8 has a bunch of shortcut keys that are totally new for Windows users. Microsoft, for whatever reason, plays a little game with users and lets them figure out these shortcuts on their own as a kind of Easter Egg.
An app called Windows 8 Cheat Keys fixes that oversight and shows users the most relevant shortcut ‘cheat’ keys for whatever page they’re on. Whether you want to quickly print a webpage or just shut down your computer, Cheat Keys will help you memorize all of the useful shortcut keys you could ever need.
7) Xbox SmartGlass
If you’re an Xbox owner, this app is a must-have. Microsoft has put a lot of time into synching Windows 8 and the Xbox 360, and you can now seamlessly control your Xbox 360 interface using your Windows 8 computer. SmartGlass comes with a bunch of other useful features and launching games, movies, or music has never been easier.
Xbox SmartGlass is also available on mobile devices, so your life just got a whole lot more connected.
6) Hulu Plus or Netflix
There certainly isn’t a shortage of movie streaming options available to today’s consumers. From Hulu Plus to Netflix and everything in between, you can watch popular TV shows on whatever services you want for a low monthly fee.
Fortunately, both the Netflix and Hulu Plus apps for Windows 8 are remarkably beautiful and take full advantage of the tiled Windows 8 styled interface. It makes watching movies a breeze, and both of these apps are miles ahead of the other Windows 8 media viewing services available.
There’s no way the world’s largest software company forget to add a clock to its operating system, right? Wrong. Although I’m sure leaving a clock out of the desktop screen was intentional, it’s a perplexing and jarring choice for Windows 8 users. You can go to the Charms bar to pull up date and time information. But who wants to do that?
With the Clock app, users see a minimalistic interface that features the date and time as a Live Tile. That’s it. If you want to look at the time without moving your mouse or tapping any keys, this app is your best option.
Microsoft is pushing hard for Skype adoption, and the Skype app works particularly well with Windows 8. You can snap Windows 8 to one side of the screen and continue working away. Or, you can integrate Skype with your People hub to make sure your friends are never far away. Of course, you don’t have to do any of those things if you don’t want to. But Windows 8 and Skype get along very well.
3) Slacker Radio
Slacker Radio combines modern Windows 8-style tile design with good music to create a fantastic radio app that can be customized to whatever crazy musical needs you might have. It’s free (supported by ads) and offers 200 different radio stations that are run by human DJs. You can also pay for a subscription to unlock more on-demand features without advertisements, although you’re free to use Slacker Radio unlimited for as long as you like.
The biggest benefit of Slacker Radio is that it isn’t Microsoft Music. Microsoft’s default Music app gives you free radio – but only for a period of six months. It also doesn’t get along with devices that don’t have a Microsoft logo, which makes it more problematic than Slacker Radio. As it stands now, Slacker Radio is the far superior solution.
You’ve heard what happens when people do all work and no play, right? Well, the Windows App Store is filled with dozens of popular mobile games that will help you take a break from work. Instead of listing all of these popular games here – like Jetpack Joyride – just check out this compilation of the top 15 best windows 8 gaming apps available today, as listed by PCWorld.com
1) Fresh Paint
You might have fond memories of painting as a kid, but I don’t. I remember lots of messy stains and wrecked clothing and crappy looking artwork. But Fresh Paint takes all of these problems away and makes them disappear thanks to an app called Fresh Paint.
You may have seen this app on recent Windows 8 commercials where a daughter shows off her Fresh Paint-designed creations to her father over Skype. It’s a touching Microsoft moment and it’s something you can recreate in just a few minutes on the Fresh Paint app. It’s worth a try even if you have zero artistic abilities. And there’s no mess!