The Best Windows ten Universal Apps of two thousand seventeen – Mobile App Reviews
The Best Windows ten Universal Apps of 2017
Windows has apps and an app store. A lot of people may not realize that, but it’s one of the big features that Windows ten inherited from Windows 8. The apps in the store are lightweight, touch-friendly, and can run either full-screen or windowed. Updates are treated automatically, and you can install apps purchased on numerous devices.
Universal apps have some other benefits over traditional PC programs, too. They can interact with Windows’s built-in notification and sharing features. They can display current info on live tiles in the Embark menu—handy for things like weather, sports, and messaging. They’re also vetted for security and quality, and run in their own sandboxes so as not to affect the rest of the operating system.
But the most appealing aspect of universal apps may be their capability to run on a broad multitude of devices, from smartphones to tablets to laptops to powerful desktop PCs to game consoles and eventually the HoloLens 3D extended-reality headset. Let’s not leave behind the enormous Surface Hub business conferencing unit, either.
Universal Windows apps mean you can acquire an app for all of these device types at once, from the same app store, called the Windows Store (where you also find games, music, movies, and TV shows). Universal apps make things lighter for both the app developers and their consumers. Developers get to use about eighty percent of the same code regardless of the target platform, and users only have to acquire an app once for all their devices.
Of course, a utter PC app differs from a phone app and an Xbox app, hence the 20-percent difference in code. The unification also means that a developer can target the entire audience of several device types with (mostly) the code of one app. I tested all the apps listed below on a Surface Pro four running Windows ten and a Lumia nine hundred fifty running Windows ten Mobile.
More and more in-demand apps are making their way into the Windows Store, as you can see from group below. Some major apps aren’t universal, however. For example, Instagram only runs on Mobile, and the Nook reading app only runs on PCs and tablets.
More existing apps are also being converted to Universal apps. For example, several of the top Windows apps, including Facebook, Pandora, and Microsoft’s own OneDrive recently made the transition. I hope the trend resumes. App providers that left the fold because they didn’t want to spend the development effort to create apps for the petite percentage of Windows Phone users may be more enticed by reaching a potential Windows ten audience of more than three hundred fifty million.
The list below doesn’t include PC games, of which there are slew in the Windows Store. In fact, the store will be aligned with the Xbox Store. Games already in the Store range from casuals like Crossy Road and Cut the Cord to top-notch drivers like Asphalt and Forza, and shooters like Gears of War, Modern Combat, and Quantum Break. And of course, Minecraft is in there. I also left out apps that are bundled with Windows Ten, such as OneNote, Skype, and Office Mobile. Groove Music, Outlook Mail and Calendar, Maps, and many more. To learn about some of the best third-party Universal Windows apps, read on.
Free, subscription fee for extra storage
Dropbox is most likely less essential now that OneDrive is included with Windows and Windows Phone, but for users who’ve become acquainted to Dropbox, there’s a universal app. This excellent cloud storage and syncing app not only lets you download files from your Dropbox, but also lets you view documents and photos. You can dearest items by tapping a starlet, and the app can act as an auto-uploader for any photos shot on the device on which it’s installed.
This popular language-learning app (and PCMag’s Editors’ Choice for free language-learning software) is now available as a Windows Universal app. Get the same drills you’ve come to expect on your PC, with sixteen languages to choose from for English speakers. You get the same joy progression through difficulty levels, embarking by simply choosing the picture of the word in the other language and hearing it spoken, then you stir on to typing translations and more. Setup is super elementary, to boot.
The premier online auction house offers a ordinary Universal Windows app that does what you need it to. You can search for items with good filtering options, see items you’re watching, sell items, all in a very clear, touchable interface. Of course, notifications about bidding activity in the Windows Activity Center and sharing through the standard share panel are good reasons to use an app rather than the service’s ideally serviceable website.
However I choose Yelp overall, Foursquare has it strike in the Universal Windows app race. And Foursquare has a legion of devout users. The app doesn’t even require an account, but if you do become a regular user, it can learn your tastes. You can save dearest places, leave tips about them, or just like or dislike them. The joy, large tile design is eminently touchable and swipe-able, and Bing Maps integration means you’ll never have trouble finding your next palate-pleasing venue.
If you want all your messages on all your devices, no matter their operating system or size, it’s hard to do better than Facebook Messenger; it boasts apps for iOS, Android, Web, and Windows. The Windows Universal app features effortless navigation inbetween your conversations, along with media options like photos, voice recording, and GIFs. As with many Universal apps, integrated notifications are a big plus when it comes to messaging. It still lacks a duo of features found in the Web client, including movie and voice calling and pasting of pics.
Free, with in-app purchases
This drawing app has long been one of the most incredible Windows modern apps. It supports five multitouch finger points and offers realistic paint, watercolor, and pencil textures for your digital drawing. Packs of line drawings and cartoons suggest prefab beginning points in case you’re lacking inspiration. The Joy Pack is free, but the more artistic Multiplicity Pack is a $1.49 in-app purchase, and the Venture Pack, with its twenty four character sketches and Friends Pack of mostly pets cost $1.99 each. Of course, you can just begin finger or mouse painting on a blank page or a photo of your own, with a good diversity of brush and pencil tips. You also get a choice of a dozen canvas and paper textures. Once you’re done, you can export your masterpiece to a PNG file or lightly send it to email and social networks. This is a very polished app, with impressively real-looking paint.
Starts at $7.99 per month
The world’s best-known streaming movie service now has a Universal Windows app for phone, tablet, and PC. Witness House of Cards and the rest, no matter what screen you’re near. This will be an even fatter deal when it’s also aligned with the Xbox app. The app remembers what you last left off watching, shows your List of movies and TV shows, and accommodates numerous profiles. Search for titles or browse through many genres, including cult movies, documentaries, and sci-fi/fantasy. You can even enable or disable subtitles and audio.
Free, with in-app purchases
This app offers perhaps the most ways to dress up digital pictures. You can work on pictures from your camera roll or online accounts. It’s a snap to add text, clipart, and endless effects to photos, or even commence drawing from scrape. Collage creation is one of this app’s strengths, too. You even get Photoshop-style selection, masking, and tone curve adjustments. And there are enough filters to put Instagram to shame. Noise reduction, blemish fixing, blur effects—it’s the entire nine yards of digital photo manipulation.
Free; Pro version $Nineteen.99
Polarr is an exceptional, Lightroom-style photography app. It offers raw camera file import, lots of lighting and color adjustments, and a clear, touch-friendly interface. It also boasts a wealth of effect filters, and, if you get the paid Pro version, you can even create your own. A Guide mode is a excellent helper for demonstrating you how to improve your digital photos.
Windows’s included Weather app is flawlessly serviceable, but if you want more bells and whistles, The Weather Channel has you covered. Lightly access numerous locations, see animated weather maps, read weather news, and observe weather movies. The app can even notify you about severe weather, rain, or violating news. The app takes advantage of Cortana voice control, so you can say to your computer "Showcase me forecast movies" or "Display me weather at work."
The Twitter Universal app supports everything you expect in a mobile app for the microblogging service, including numerous accounts, lists, movie, pictures (with people tagging), and location. You can save drafts, edit your profiles, and choose inbetween light and dark themes. The app will of course generate notifications, and you can set it up to display fresh tweets on the lock screen and Begin menu tile. Account switching is nice, too, because who has just one Twitter account?
Free, with in-app purchases
Another excellent service in the communications genre, Viber offers Skype-like movie calling and calling to standard telephones, but, unlike Skype and Facebook Messenger, it requires a mobile phone number and the app installed on that phone in order to work. You can also view public talks manned by celebrities or interest groups. And as with Facebook Messenger, there’s an extensive sticker market. Cool Windows ten capability: the Viber app lets you reply to text messages right from the Activity Center notification.
The open-source multi-format movie player comes to the Windows Store! VLC instantly finds and can play just about any kind of movie or music on you PC or Windows Mobile device. It’s interface is plain and clear. Just don’t expect all of the features of the traditional Windows VLC program, such as movie effects and file conversion. It does let you add media folder locations, choose caption formats, and use hardware decoding, however. For music playback, VLC also offers seventeen equalizer presets, from classical to techno.
Vast amounts of scientific skill is embodied in this app that’s a must for students of not only mathematics, but also geology, astronomy, and biology. Compare areas, masses, and other dimensions using its massive store of data. There’s even information on music, words, health, nutrition, and transportation. You’d be amazed at some of the statistics available in the app, including movie ticket receipts for box-office hits and the probability of hitting it rich with your Mega Millions ticket.
Free; Pro version $Four.99 per month or $49.99 per year
Keep track of all those to-dos and tasks on every device you own. Wunderlist makes it exceptionally effortless to inject, finish, and prioritize items. You can customize the interface by switching among sixteen background options. Brainy Lists automatically showcase tasks due this week or today, or starred tasks. You can also add everything in Wunderlist to your calendar. Business users will want to subscribe to the Pro version, which adds collaboration features, for $Four.99 per month or $49.99 per year.