The Microsoft Store gained some solid additions recently, including a beautiful media player and Microsoft's own Your Phone app. Here are the best apps I looked at in October of 2018.
Night Eye adds a dark mode to any website you visit. It does more than just invert blacks and whites. It intelligently scans web pages to know how to switch an entire website into dark mode. You can also customize specific colors on websites to make them fit easier into a dark theme. For example, if Night Eye switches a yellow to green, you can make that shade of yellow stay yellow or pick another color that shows up better against a dark background.
When I used Night Eye it slowed down website loading a bit, especially when loading a page for the first time, but that will vary depending on hardware.
Night Eye is a free extension available for Microsoft Edge.
WunderMail is one of the best email clients I've ever used, and it's certainly the best-looking Gmail client on Windows 10. Its merging of Fluent Design with Gmail's functionality creates a smooth experience that doesn't require sacrificing features.
WunderMail is made using Gmail's APIs rather than IMAP so you can use features like labels and categories. It also has Windows 10 features such as push notifications that show up in the Action Center.
It has a free version that has ads or a paid version for $9.99 per year. It's available on Windows 10 and the Surface Hub.
Microsoft has made a concerted effort to connect mobile devices to Windows 10 PCs, and Your Phone is a major step in that direction. It allows you to sync text messages and the last 25 photos from your phone to your Windows 10 PC.
I've seen conflicting reports on Your Phone's consistency when it comes to syncing messages, but it's worked well for me during my testing. My photos also show up almost instantly, though that isn't a feature many will focus on.
I also like the design of Your Phone. It reminds me of the messaging app on Windows 10 Mobile but with a flair of Fluent Design.
If you send loads of text messages, Your Phone is definitely worth a look. The only main drawbacks that I've ran into are that it can't relay phone calls and it can't mirror apps like Dell Mobile Connect.
Your Phone comes with the most recent version of Windows 10, but to use it you'll need to use the free companion app on Android.
Sonca is a gorgeous media player in a land of streaming services and apps. It has Fluent Design and a clean interface that's easy to learn. It also has an impressive feature set including syncing with cloud services like OneDrive and Dropbox, picture-in-picture mode, Timeline Support, and it can remember when you stopped playing media previously.
I ran into buffering when streaming OneDrive videos and had a few other errors in my testing but was overall impressed with Sonca.
It's available for Windows 10, Xbox One, HoloLens, and the Surface Hub. The standard price is $7.99, but it's on sale at the time of this review for $4.99. The app is made by Finebits, which also published Torrex (opens in new tab) and some other popular apps for Windows 10. The developer sells the Finebits AppPack (opens in new tab) which bundles together multiple apps. If you've purchased that pack in the past, you can pick up Sonca for free.
Concepts is a popular sketching and design app on iOS that's made its way to Windows 10. It features a number of digital pens, brushes, and effects that make it easy to create on a digital canvas.
Like other versions of concepts, the Windows 10 version has a number of gestures that make it simple to copy items, undo steps, and perform other tasks.
On the Windows side of things, it supports pen tilt and pressure support as well as the Surface Dial. In my time with the app it performed smoothly. It's easy to see why it's gathering so many positive reviews on the Microsoft Store.
It isn't at feature parity with the iPad version, but it is an impressive sketching app that adds a lot of functionality to Windows 10 2-1s and tablets.
Concepts is available for free on Windows 10 and also has versions on iOS (opens in new tab) and Android (opens in new tab). The free version of Concepts has some basic features but if you want more features and brushes you'll need to purchase bolt-ons. You can get the Essentials pack for a one-time price of $9.99 or get everything for $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year.
Over to you ...
We're always looking to check out unique and powerful apps from the Microsoft Store. What do you think of these apps? Which apps would you like us to look at in the future? Let us know in the comments.
Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.
The Your Phone app for Windows 10 only works on the April 2018 update, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. The app comes installed with the October 2018 update, which has not be re-released yetl
I can't believe you consider the Your Phone app good. That thing doesn't even sync notifications reliably. But to each their own I guess.
I would have said the same thing but since the last update 1.0.12964 I see its more reliable and connects instantly with my laptop.
I don't think it's supposed to sync notifications. I have no idea what is supposed to be doing that - that stopped working a long time ago. Pretty sloppy overall.
Its supposed to pop up a notification when you get an incoming message. Since the last update I see that happening, before that it was a hit or miss.
Your Phone works really well for me. I also use Dell Mobile Connect and I think it does some things really well but some people would prefer a Your Phone-styled app that's just straightforward.
Microsoft To-Do mysteriously missing from this list
I can't get mine to sync across devices even though it sounds like it should.
EarTrumpet - replacement for Volume control icon in task tray, gives you more control over volume, even per app volume
One Commander - replacement for File Explorer with tabs, dual-pane browsing, and columns mode from Finder, and Space to preview files
Dell Mobile Connect - instead of Your Phone
Autodesk SketchBook - instead of Concepts
I'm a big fan of EarTrumpet and I've checked out most of these. I'm really glad I got Dell Mobile Connect on my Matebook X Pro.
I'm not sure why, but despite allowing itself to be installed on Android 5.1+ devices it says in the Your Phone description that it actually requires Android 7.0+. I wonder if that's the cause of many of the negative reviews the app has on Google Play.
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