Take notes, control your home, and translate everything with these great secret UWP apps

Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps are usually designed to work across multiple Windows devices, including Windows 10 PCs, Windows 10 Mobile phones, Xbox One, Surface Hub, and Windows Holographic. Some UWP apps will work on all of these devices, while others will only work on a couple. These apps are all readily available from the Store — here we've rounded up some of the best choices for making your life easier.

Action Note

This handy note-taking app has a super simple UI that lets you quickly create a note. Upon creation, your notes will appear in the app in a list you can sort by date, category, or title. When the app closes, notes will also show up in your Action Center. You can create notes, you can delete notes, and you can launch the app, all from the Action Center.

From the app, you can choose to have the note read back to you, you can pin notes to the Start menu, and you can set color-coded categories. This and more is all included in the free version; if you want to sync across your devices, you'll have to spring for the Pro version at $3.49.

Compatible with PC, Mobile, Holographic, and Surface Hub.

Download Action Note from the Microsoft Store (Free + In-app purchases)


Home automation seems to be taking off, so why not get Cortana working where you live? Cortrigga works with IFTTT (If This Then That), the service that lets other popular services — Nest, Alexa, Hue — work together.

You create "recipes" that, using voice commands, will set off a chain of events. For example, you can set it so that Cortana turns on your lights when you tell her it's getting dark outside. If you already have some home automation going on, this app will seriously change how it all works.

Compatible with PC, Mobile, Holographic, and Surface Hub.

Download Cortrigga from the Microsoft Store ($4.99)

Download App Anytime

Browsing the Store on your phone when you're killing time can be a bit of an obsession — the problem is, you might not be around a Wi-Fi hotspot and you might not have unlimited data. Instead of taking screenshots of the awesome apps you come across, there is Download App Anytime.

From the Store, all you have to do is use the Share option and select Download App Anytime. The title will then be saved in the app for you to download later. You can just click it from the list and the proper download page will open.

Compatible with PC, Mobile, and Surface Hub.

Download App Anytime from the Microsoft Store (Free + In-app purchases)

Game Calendar

Video games keep getting better, and the amount being released keeps increasing to the point where it's difficult to keep track of them across platforms. Game Calendar is a UWP app designed specifically for diehard gamers.

All current gaming platforms are supported, and you can choose which ones to follow. There are plenty of settings to tweak, including the theme, whether or not you want to see cover art and videos in the list, and what is shown in the live tile. If you're sick of missing release dates, grab this app and easily keep up to date with all the best games on the horizon.

Compatible with Xbox One, Holographic, PC, Surface Hub, and Mobile.

Download Game Calendar from the Microsoft Store (Free + In-app purchases)

Modern Translator

This powerful translation app is perfect for anyone who travels a lot or who needs to quickly refresh their foreign vocabulary. You can type, speak, draw, or take a picture of a language you don't understand and you'll see familiar words pop up in seconds.

Over 150 languages are supported when it comes to text, and about 20 languages can be translated through pictures. If a language barrier is holding you back while you travel or try to make new friends, this app will make things way easier.

Compatible with PC, Mobile, Holographic, and Surface Hub.

Download Modern Translator from the Microsoft Store ($4.99)

Money Tracker Pro

Finances. If that word just sent a shiver up your spine, you might be in the market for an app that will organize how you spend your money. Not only does Money Tracker Pro keep your cash accounts organized, you can also add stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Users rave about the enormous selection of features within, and the easy user interface makes it a breeze to use. Add charts, images, graphs, reports and more to better track your money, and easily export to popular formats like Excel. If you're ready to take the guesswork out of your money, check out Money Tracker Pro.

Compatible with PC, Mobile, Holographic, and Surface Hub.

Download Money Tracker Pro from the Microsoft Store ($9.99)

Power Planner

Students rejoice; Power Planner is the homework app you've been waiting for. A calendar keeps track of all your assignments — you can even set live tiles to show what you have coming up — and there's a GPA tracker that works across multiple semesters.

Not only that, room numbers, room locations, and reminders can be set for all your classes to make college a bit less stressful. If the old physical day planner isn't cutting it anymore, this UWP app will be a saving grace.

Compatible with Xbox One, PC, Mobile, Holographic, and Surface Hub.

Download Power Planner from the Microsoft Store (Free + In-app purchases)


Converting your videos and audio files into formats compatible with your wide range of devices can be a serious hassle without the right tool.

With the Transcoder app, you have the ability to change video into audio, add titles, add subtitles, and add captions to your files. Your major file formats are all compatible as sources, including .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .avi, .wma, .mp3, .m4a, .wav, and .flac. Sick of dealing with flimsy freeware converters? Grab this simple, powerful tool that will convert your files with ease.

Compatible with PC, Mobile, Holographic, and Surface Hub.

Download Transcoder from the Microsoft Store ($0.99)

What is your favorite UWP app that makes your life that much easier? Is it well known, or is it your little secret?

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.