With 2017 squarely in the rearview mirror, we can look back at 2017's best apps from the Microsoft Store. From powerful photo editors to one of the world's most popular music streaming services, the Microsoft Store gained some solid apps last year.
In addition to newcomers to the store last year, we included some applications that received major upgrades or rewrites, as well as a couple mainstays that are worth mentioning even though they aren't new.
The MSN News app earned a spot on our Best of 2017 list thanks to its lightweight performance and minimal design. It's an easy to use app that fits right in on Windows 10. It's a great app for checking out news from a variety of sources, and you can pick favorite topics to stay on top of the latest news that you care about.
The app is free and comes with Windows 10 but you can also follow the link below if you need to grab it.
Similar to its MSN sibling, MSN Weather is an easy to navigate app that does its job well. It lays out the weather in a way that's easy to digest while also presenting a lot of information. There are plenty of weather apps in the Microsoft Store but MSN Weather earned our top spot.
Just like the MSN News app, MSN Weather is free and comes with Windows 10.
Windows has been about being productive for a long time. And these apps make it easier to get things done.
ShareX takes a simple idea and does it well. It allows you to easily capture either parts of your screen or the whole thing. It has a plethora of programmable shortcuts that speed up your capturing process. You can also use it to record gifs.
It's a great example of a program you can download and just leave running in the background until you need it. In our full review we found it to be a major improvement over the built-in screen capture tool in Windows 10 and it's free.
Slack is ubiquitous when it comes to office and workplace communication. It allows you to chat with the entire office, specific groups, or individuals. You can use it to share files, videos, photos, or just simple messages. The app is also free to download so you can just download it and sign into your rooms and chats.
Slack is what we use to communicate at Mobile Nations, and the Slack app coming to Windows 10 makes it easy to stay in touch with work.
EnPass is a password manager that works with a number of platforms. It came to the Microsoft Store as an Edge extension and is one of the best password managers around. It converted our Executive Editor Daniel Rubino away from LastPass and is worth checking out if you're looking to increase your security or to streamline logging into sites.
The app costs $9.99 but Enpass does not require a subscription as some password managers do.
The music scene on Windows 10 changed dramatically in 2017. Groove Music's streaming service was discontinued and a major player stepped in to fill the gap.
Spotify is one of the most popular streaming music services in the world. It being added to the Microsoft Store is a major boost to Windows 10, especially with the death of Groove Music's streaming service. Spotify has a vast catalogue of music. The app itself is free but there are both paid and unpaid options for the service.
It also makes it easy to stream on multiple speakers or from control music on one device from another. Spotify also launched on the Xbox One, giving Windows users another way to stream their favorite music.
dJay Pro isn't an app that will be downloaded by the average Windows 10 user. It's a piece of professional DJ software that costs just under $50, though it's currently on sale for $29.99. It gained popularity on other platforms including iOS. But it earns a spot on this list by proving that a powerful iOS app can be ported to Windows 10 using Project Islandwood, as opposed the desktop bridge Project Centennial, which was used for many of the other apps on this list.
Apart from being a great example of an Islandwood port, dJay Pro is also an incredibly powerful app. It has Surface Dial support, intricate touch controls for mixing music, and Spotify integration. It also has the best app promotion video of 2017.
While you can't get the full version of Photoshop through the Microsoft Store, there are some great photo editors available.
Photoshop Elements comes in at a flat price of $99.99 (currently on sale for $69.99) rather than requiring a monthly subscription. It has an impressive set of photo editing tools and is a great alternative for people who need to do more than they can with Windows 10's built in editors but don't need a full, professional piece of software.
Affinity Photo is a direct competitor to the full version of Photoshop. It's a powerful, multi-layered photo editing tool that can be used by professionals. It has an impressive feature list and should be very familiar to people who have used other pieces of photo editing software. Like Photoshop Elements, it's available for a flat rate rather than a monthly subscription. It's usually available for $49.99 but is currently on sale for $39.99. Reviewing Affinity Photo convinced me to switch away from full Photoshop.
Other notable third-party apps
While the Microsoft Store saw the arrival of some large first-party apps in 2017, there are still a number of third-party apps that fill the app gap and provide outstanding experiences for popular services.
While Twitter has an official app for Windows 10, any power user Twitter should check out Tweeten. It' a free app that takes the basic design of Tweetdeck, with multiple columns of Twitter feeds and searches, and enhances it. You can monitor multiple Twitter accounts, Twitter lists, the search column and also schedule Tweets. Additionally, you can upload and save gifs directly within the app. One of the main advantages of Tweeten is the sheer amount of information that can be delivered within its interface.
Google may have updated its Xbox One app, but it still hasn't shipped an official YouTube client to the Microsoft Store. Luckily, myTube! is a a fully featured third-party YouTube app. In fact, it has more features than first party apps because it supports background audio, picture-in-picture, and many other features that you don't see in YouTube apps from Google.
myTube! has an interface that's easy to navigate and feels much more native on Windows 10 than using YouTube within a browser. The fully released app supports 2k and the beta version even supports 4k resolution. The app costs $0.99.
Your picks for 2017's best apps
Did we miss any amazing apps of the year? What were your favorite Windows 10 apps of 2017? Let us know in the comments.
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