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Best Windows 10 Apps for Developers

Developing isn't as simple as writing a few lines of strange text. It requires a lot of effort, as well as thoughtful thinking, to achieve a great result such as an application for a smartphone, or a game for a console. Thoughtful design, logical thinking and organized planning are just a few parts of the whole process. The following applications may be just what you need to optimize your workflow.

devRant Unofficial

devRant may actually be the only tool on this list that may make you less productive. It's a social network designed for developers and coders, and as the name suggests, it is mostly made up of "rants," with occasional jokes and relatable situations described in a microblog format.

The app is a semi-unofficial client for the network. I say "semi" because the app has received support and blessing from the original creators of devRant together with resources required to make the app better. It's fully featured, has a design similar to the official Android and iOS apps and is currently the best way of browsing the network using a PC, because the website is subpar.

The app has occasional performance and stability issues, but that doesn't stop it from being a very nice app to have while wasting time on your fifteen-minute break. It's completely free, and the site requires no login in order to view posts, so there is nothing stopping you from giving it a shot.

See at the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

CodeHub

GitHub is the world's most popular platform for developers, allowing millions of people to share their code online, improve other projects and collaborate on developing. It allows developers to easily communicate with each other and manage big projects, such as the Islandwood Project, which Microsoft happens to host on GitHub.

CodeHub is an unofficial application for this service. Unfortunately, because CodeHub is not fully optimized for desktop usage, its layout may appear as odd for some. However, it certainly isn't crippled when it comes to features and functionality. CodeHub "aims to do what the GitHub Desktop app doesn't do" as the listing description reveals, therefore you can easily perform all basic and core functions of GitHub and more as the app features less popular options like trending repositories and following people, which, may be handy if you are heavily invested in the community aspect of the platform.

The app if free, with donation in-app purchases, and offers full functionality without having to pay a cent, making it worth a shot if you happen to be a touchscreen user who might benefit from a native app.

See at the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

XAML UI Controls

XAML UI Controls may have a generic name, but it's function certainly surpassed my expectations. The app features a very user-friendly interface for a catalogue of all possible controls that XAML supports. For reference, XAML is a language which is often used for designing and creating application interfaces in Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Xamarin applications. Clicking in on one of the controls brings up its different functions and demonstrates how it works.

While this app may not be useful for professionals with years of experience, people who are new to the Windows developing ecosystem, and have a hard time memorizing all names of the controls may find this app to be hugely impactful on their workflow, because it can save a lot of time by not having to web search for the information manually. As the app is completely free, it doesn't hurt to check if you may have some use for it yourself.

See at the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Dev Center

Dev Center is a must-have application for every UWP developer. This handy tool will help you easily keep track of statistics and ratings for all your Windows Store projects. It features a clean design and a user-friendly interface for easy navigation, which means a learning curve won't be necessary. This may come as relieving news to developers who have gone through many courses over time.

Being a first-party tool listed under Microsoft's name, it's safe to assume that you are not giving away sensitive information about your business or company by using this application. You also shouldn't have to worry about security or privacy issues. It performs as it should, on-screen and behind the scenes.

The app is, as expected from a first-party app, completely free with no in-app purchases.

See at the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

#Code

#Code is a powerful tool with amazing capabilities. It's used to code and compile your applications and files using a user-friendly interface which is very easy to navigate. It's quite remarkable that the tool supports as many as 12 programming languages, with compiling support for each one of them. The languages are C, C++, Java, Python, C#, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Swift, Visual Basic, JavaScript and Pascal, which are very popular languages used by many developers.

The application is particularly interesting because it works not only on PC, but on mobile and the Surface Hub too which means that if you happen to be one of the few Windows 10 Mobile users left, or happen to be the even rarer target group that owns the Surface Hub, you can utilize the application on there too, which may prove to be very useful. Those platforms do not have any code editors that support compiling, which makes #Code a "one-of-a-kind" project.

The app can be downloaded for free from the Windows Store, but it does feature a few extra features which you won't get unless you buy the premium version. That said, it's not a requirement and the free version of the app is perfectly functional.

See at the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Character Map UWP

Every UI developer knows how important it is to have a good character map at hand. While Windows does have a built-in tool for that, it leaves a lot to be desired. Its interface is hard to navigate, it's slow and hasn't been updated for many years.

Thankfully, there are third-party alternatives like Character Map UWP. As generic as the name may sound, it certainly is a huge upgrade over the built-in app. It features a clean and easy-to-navigate design, support for sorting fonts by symbol or actual text, and much more. While a character map isn't necessarily exciting, this tool is.

As expected from a tool of this nature, it's free to download from the Windows Store with no hidden extra costs.

See at the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

While developing may not be for everyone, anyone can certainly try it. These apps should help you along the way, no matter if you are a professional or an amateur just starting out. If you have given any of these apps a try, let us know how things shook out. If you have any favorite apps that you use for developing, share them in the comments.

Dennis Bednarz is a former writer for Windows Central and the guy behind ModMy. He has been a recognised member of the Microsoft community for years and owns everything from Lumia phones to Surface PCs. He occasionally likes to rant about Windows Phone and drink tea. You can go ahead and follow him on Twitter at @DennisBednarz

18 Comments
  • So, where is the Visual Studio? Is devRant more useful? ;)
  • I agree... I was looking for more tools for productive application development.
  • It's not an UWP app, so I didn't include it.
  • I believe the report mostly focused on UWP apps
  • Shahul Hameed, the author of #Code, has a couple other apps that should appeal to developers.  There's one for interfacing with (and testing) RESTful services (#Rest), and another that helps people developing Bluetooth applications (Bluetooth Assistant).  Both work on Mobile, as well.
  • I've found Serris Code Editor very useful. UWP with Continuum means not only checking code on the train is easy, but I can even put it onto a big screen quickly. Also, completely free.
  • I like this app and I'm using it now instead of notepad++
  • I wasn't even aware there were code editors on WP, let alone UWP. This is way cool.
  • I am personally really impressed by #Code. It uses a clever bypass for the UWP runtime restrictions, and compiles everything in the cloud. Remarkable engineering. It was the first app I thought about when writing this
  • I'll have to check #Code out for sure, thanks for sharing!
  • Well the code app will help if i can code on phone while explaining things to my friends :D cant w8 to try it on phone :P 
  • Does it still exist a developer working on this os ? 30% to leave to Ms with 0.5% of the market share ? I doubt, maybe some students.
  • Cool sharing
  • Who said that devRant has performance issues? I don't have any problem, works very well!
  • I said it.
  • Good one...
  • Not updated in my phone
  • Hi