The Microsoft Store gained some powerful apps this month, continuing its transition into a destination for developers of all kinds of apps. In addition to some powerful new apps, this month's roundup includes a familiar fan favorite.
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Groupy allows you to drag any app, program, or file into a grouped tab. This makes multitasking quick and easy, especially on smaller screens. The app also allows you to run multiple instances of the same application with a grouped tab which in effect creates a tabbed file explorer.
When we reviewed this app we pointed out that it's so good that it makes you wonder why Microsoft hasn't built a similar experience directly into Windows 10. It turns out they are in the form of "Sets" as part of a future Windows 10 release.
But Sets isn't available right now, even to Insiders, but you'll be able to use Groupy before the end of the year, or earlier if you're part of the beta. Beta testing is limited to Object Desktop users but Groupy will be released as a standalone product next month for $9.99 on Windows 10.
It's great to see more powerful and professional apps appear in the Microsoft Store. Transcriptable allows you to slow down or speed up audio to make transcribing speeches easier. The app does a great job at minimizing distortion so even at slower speeds you can understand the speaker. In addition to speed control, the app also has preset equalizing options for male and female voices as well as telephone calls. You can also custom equalize using five different frequency ranges.
Transcriptable also allows you to transcribe text more quickly with up to ten configurable hot keys. You can enter in common phrases that you know will appear within the audio and enter them into your text editor just by pressing one of the "F" keys.
The collection of features available in Transcriptable is impressive but proved easy to use during our time testing it for our full review. It's available on Windows 10 for $39.99.
While many people have switched over to streaming services for music, many people still purchase music for their personal library. MusicBee is a powerful music management system. It easily imports your music and album information from iTunes and other sources and automatically tags your content.
The most impressive thing about MusicBee is how it does so many little things right. From gapless playback and 10- or 15- band equalization to a handy mini music player, MusicBee checks all the boxes you'd want In addition to your personal music library, you can stream audio directly from SoundCloud.
In our full review we break down more of the features but since the app is available for free on Windows 10 it's worth trying it out yourself to discover all of its options.
Animation Desk is another powerful app that arrived recently in the Microsoft Store. It's a great app for anyone just getting into animation and also has the features needed for more experienced artists.
The app's layout is similar to other creative apps such as the Adobe suite which makes it easy to jump into. You can draw and color individual frames and view multiple frames in a single image using a feature called "onion skinning." Animation Desk makes it easy to share your creations by exporting them as gifs or MP4s. You can also view other's work through Anizone which connects directly with the app.
In our review you can see more detailed breakdowns of its features as well as a gif we created using the app.
Animation Desk is available on Windows 10 PCs for free, though you can gain more features if you subscribe to Creativity 365 which is $4.99 per month if you pay for an entire year or $9.99 if you pay monthly.
Bringing the power
The Microsoft Store is becoming more of a destination for developers. 2017 as a whole, and November specifically, are evidence that many companies are interested in making apps for and bringing apps to the Microsoft Store. The transition isn't complete but the best apps of November include powerful apps that are very impressive.
What are your favorite Windows 10 apps right now?
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.