Skip to main content

Here are the 2D Microsoft HoloLens universal native apps

Microsoft HoloLens is not all about just holographic 3D apps it can also run Windows Universal Platform (UWP) apps as well.

None of that should be surprising as Microsoft has been boasting UWP apps being able to run on all 'end points' for PC and Mobile computing since day one. But in case you were wondering here are the native UWP Microsoft apps that work with HoloLens. It is also important to drill the home the idea that universal apps are really just that.

Whether it is Groove Music, Solitaire, Word, the Store, or Edge, they can all run on the wearable holographic computer. Developers can also add some specific HoloLens capabilities to their apps without having to fork the code.

Why? Simple. Hands-free computing can be a big deal for many users who are either multitasking or working on a project that requires the use of their hands. With HoloLens, you can use the app with scrolling, zoom, air-tap (action) and gaze (the app follows your eyes and where you look).

Being able to make a Skype call why washing the dishes or reading a recipe while preparing food at the same time is a new evolution of computing. Such a paradigm shift is on the horizon, and we are now at the very beginning of that change.

Interestingly, one drawback of 2D apps on HoloLens? You can't project the color black as black is the absence of light. Microsoft has a few tips to work around that, but it is something for developers to keep in mind. Also, the USB port cannot use peripherals in case you had some ideas.

Even more exciting is that developers here at Build are being trained on how to build both 3D and 2D apps using UWP. Developers can do this all now through the HoloLens SDK without even needing a physical HoloLens. When HoloLens finally does launch for the public, there should be a large selection of apps built to take advantage of the technology and that is very exciting.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

23 Comments
  • I just submitted my 2D UWP application to Windows Holographic as well. Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • Cool. :)
  • Your apps are cool!
  • Thanks, I really appreciate it! Feel free to send feedback on them/rate them in the store anytime :). Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • What kind of apps do you develop? Windows Central for Windows 10-Microsoft Lumia 640
  • I develop for the UWP and have a few applications, primarily music-based and am working on more. You can find my applications on my website here: http://zadapps.wix.com/index Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • I'm interested in app development but I'm just starting to learn. How long have you been doing this? Windows Central for Windows 10-Microsoft Lumia 640
  • I have been developing for about 2 1/2 years. If your in development for UWP or anything in general like Android and iOS, a good place to start is http://mva.microsoft.com. Hope all goes well :). Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • I'm a developer too. I'm currently developing an app for the Microsoft band. Everything was going to plan but my band was stolen
  • Oh man, that is terrible, very sorry to hear my friend. I hope you may still continue to develop your application for the band, they now have emulators for them (I believe as 3rd party extension to VS). Sorry again, hope all goes well. Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • Ok thanks
  • Started 1 1/2 years.. ? I should start now...
  • I'm excited for these kind of things strictly to benefit my posture. As someone with really bad posture from playing too many games with bad posture and doing a lot of rock climbing (climber posture) throughout my life, I've really started to notice it since I got in to college. Bending your neck over a phone or laptop is really bad, and also becomes a bad habit really quickly.
    These wearable type stuff hopefully can really help, since I won't have to look down to read stuff.
    Not quite ready to pay $3000 for a less straining reading experience though. But the future is bright, and standing up tall. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree completely. When I first saw the hololens I hoped it would catch on just so we can stand and move around while doing stuff on the computer.
  • Man, I just want it to be here goddamnit, why can't I haz it! ;-P Will it be available for a decent-ish price by this time next year, or will we have another year or 2 to go? Don't fall into the trap of "soon" MS, you'll miss the boat again & someone else will run away with the market! Though I don't see anyone doing that with A/MR, still, doesn't mean there isn't something we're not aware of yet! If done well, this will be a huge shift, & will quite literally be life-changing for the "every man/woman".
  • My guess is 2 more years minimum.
  • Faaark that... >.>
  • I don't suppose you can elaborate as-to-why you you think 2 more years "minimum"?
  • I don't suppose you can elaborate as-to-why you you think 2 more years "minimum"?
    No? I guess you don't have a solid rationale for your guesstimate...
  • I imagined this will be big with the wheelchair bound Stephen Hawking's crowd. I'm not saying that in a bad way, it just looks more useful for a particular crowd.
  • I'm a practicing architect and i can't wait for hololens to hit the consumer market with better battery and moderate price.
  • Hololens has my attention, far more than any vr. Tried an Oculus Rift, after a few minutes I get really rough. I'd liken it to concussion. Headache lasted for hours.
  • Can I connect a keyboard and mouse and use it as a super-compact "laptop"?