Windows 10 Gems: Wrapping up a dozen great apps and add-ins


With Windows 10 Gems!

With support from Microsoft

From PC and mobile apps to Office add-ins, Windows 10 will help you #DoMoreEveryDay

A Gems Wrap-up

Last week we wrapped our fifth Gems collection of Windows 10 apps that you should check out. We periodically team up with Microsoft and work together to find the best apps for your phone, PC, or Surface.

Not only do we 'deep dive' into some new software, but it we get the chance to give back to the community with some big prizes! This Gems series allowed us to venture into some new territory, specifically Office add-ins. To be quite honest, I always thought of Office and enterprise stuff as a bit on the dry side, but I was pleasantly surprised to not only learn about how add-ins work but how these app pieces could be the future of Microsoft services.

Let's go through each of the 12 days of Gems to see reflect on our coverage.

Windows Central Gems – Summer 2016 Recap!

Fitness and activity tracking is one of the fastest growing areas in tech. We took a close look at the new apps from Misfit for Windows 10 and Mobile and came away impressed. Not only does Misfit bring some uniqueness to the tracker game, but they are also the most affordable serving as an excellent entry point for new users.

Although I may give the appearance of being organized, the truth is I'm far from it. Luckily there is Todoist for Windows 10 and Mobile around to help keep me honest with my work and home life.

What is Roblox? If you're a kid, you already know, but if you're a parent, my review of the Roblox app for Windows 10 may have opened your eyes. Building mini games and creating digital worlds is the realm of Roblox and 12 million active monthly users can't be wrong.

Raising a small child and looking for a fun game to keep them occupied? Crayola Bubbles may do the trick. But don't feel bad, this is not a distraction type game — it' an educational one to help them develop some mad skills.

Turning to adults and grown-up things is banking. While generally any talks about fiduciary habits cause me concern, it was super exciting to announce the new Bank of America app for Windows 10 and Mobile! The app now is rated at a 4.8 (out of 5) on the Store and people are loving it. Pure win for everyone.

If you are a fan of soccer or sports the new Univision Deportes app is a must-have. Not only can you keep up on the latest games, but you can also watch live TV right on your phone or PC in this brilliant app for Windows 10!

PowerPoint is one slightly more exciting than Excel, but you can make it better with the free Shutterstock add-in. No more going to the web and finding janky photos (and likely using them without permission). Keep things on the legal side while also making your next presentation a knock-out with professional photos from Shutterstock. Your boss will be impressed, trust us.

Knock-out presentation photos, GIF'd emails, printing straight to Staples, and Starbucks coffee — the world of Office add-ins is broader, more useful, and more fun than you had imagined.

Turning to something more fun... Giphy! Everyone loves animated GIFs, and now you can spice up your emails with Giphy add-in for Outlook. It's cool, it's free, and you'll likely make someone smile with just the right animated GIF.

Although the Starbucks app for Windows 10 is around the corner, you can also integrate the favorite coffee house into Outlook with the Starbucks add-in. Why would you do that? Because you can directly send people gift cards via email, perfect for that client's birthday coming up, or you can schedule a meeting right at a local caffeinated joint. You need this clever add-in for your email, trust us.

Is your printer out of ink and you have the report do in the morning? Or maybe you just want that assignment professionally bounded? Now you can send your reports, article, PowerPoint presentation, or letter right to Staples through the Staples for Office add-in. What I would have done to have this convenience in college! Just select your paper type, send it to your local Staples, and pay only when you pick it up. Easy peasy.

I still cringe at the idea of doing 'the math' but had I been able to do it with my Surface in class, well…things might be different. FluidMath for Windows 10 is a must-have app for students of all ages dabbling in pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, pre-Calculus, and Calculus. It lets you write our equations using your digital pen, and it converts and solves them too. Needless to say, it's pretty impressive.

Finally, I got to listen to Howard Stern for work. I did that with the brand new SiriusXM app for Windows 10. The app is a native player for your SiriusXM web account and not only is it well done, but it will give you control over the radio like never before.

You can still enter to win!

For each one of those apps, we featured we also had prizes to giveaway. The good news is you can still enter! You have until July 15 to win such things as Beoplay H8 Wireless On-Ear Headphones ($500!) a Microsoft Surface 3 or a Keurig 525 Brewing System.

These are some serious prizes, folks, so make sure you enter to win (U.S. only, sorry, folks!)

Finally, I'd like to thank Microsoft for sponsoring the prizes that we give away and you folks for helping to spread the Windows 10 cheer. We live in some exciting times and it is only with your help can we give these apps the attention they deserve. And who knows, maybe we also made your lives a little easier or more fun with these apps!

Until next time!

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Twitter: @Daniel_Rubino

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Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.