Windows 8 apps you need to install right away

Microsoft unveiled Windows 8 yesterday and shops opened at midnight to serve up those sleek Surface tablets to hoards of people. From today you can also grab an inexpensive upgrade to Windows 8, no need to feel left out of the festivities.

We have been using and monitoring the Windows 8 store since it first became available, we thought it would be good to give you some pointers to get you up and running.

Windows 8 versions of your favourite Windows Phone apps

If you’re a Windows Phone user then you’re going to feel a little at home with some of the apps you’ll be able to find, here are some Windows Phone apps you shouldn’t miss. It’s not a complete list of apps, and we’d recommend you search for your Windows Phone app if there is something you love, but this collection will at least get you started. If it’s not in the Store, you need to mail your friendly local dev and get them on the case!

Rowi - Free

Rowi on  Windows Phone it’s one of the highest rated Twitter clients and now it’s on Windows 8 too. They have taken a different approach to the user interface that should make it a joy to use on tablet devices. Its free and well worth a look. Download Link

glƏƏk! Paid - check local Store price

Taking a fairly radical approach to social discovery glƏƏk! Has garnered many fans on Windows Phone. Coming from publisher Liquid Daffodil, you’ll get a really nice UI, tons of features and we’re sure lots of updates over time. One to check! Download Link

Pepper - Free

A real favourite on Windows Phone, this app melds music discovery, gig finder and social networking into one awesome whole. The developers are just about to unleash a massive update to this app which will no doubt blow us away.  They have been quick to get their app onto Windows 8, the app is free and so you really don’t have many excuses for not giving it a bash. Note this service is only currently available in select markets. Download Link

Cocktail Flow - Free

This is one of the longest standing Windows Phone apps and receives great reviews. The Windows 8 version is visually stunning with smooth transitions and really helps with cocktail discovery. It’s a tired phrase but this personifies what “fast and fluid” should look and work like. Go and get it! Download Link

WeatherFlow - Free

This one has just gone into the Store and well worth installing on your Windows 8 machine. Super clean weather information. Going for the minimal look it ticks the boxes for what a Metro style app should look like. Check it out. Download Link

Words By Post – Free

Yes, another Windows Phone favourite, now available on Windows 8 too. This one is cross platform so if your friends are using iOS or Android phones and tablets you can challenge them too. Very good fun and highly addictive. Download Link

Wait! There's More!

Here are some of the apps you shouldn’t be without in on your new machine, they are simply essential.

OneNote MX - Free

If you are using Windows Phone then you might already be a avid user of this uber-notetaking app. If you have just bought a Surface this weekend then you’ll have the traditional desktop version of the application installed but the MX version is for the new interface. OneNote is cloud connected using your SkyDrive storage so you’re notes are available wherever you are, web, desktop, tablet and phone.

OneNote MX is FREE to all and really shows off how a Windows 8 should work. It’s clean and and a joy to use. Make sure to try it out. Download Link

Skype - Free

Release the day before Windows 8 was announced Skype have done a superb job with their Windows 8 app. It runs in the background and takes full advantage of a clean Metro design aesthetic. You can call your Skype contacts and also access all your contacts in the People hub too. Essential! Download Link

Google Search - Free

We know that Google haven’t shown much love for Windows Phone but many still use their search and web applications. They have an app for Windows 8 which provides voice searching and access to all their wed based apps like reader. If you’re living in a Google world then this is a must have. Download Link

LastPass - Free

Password fatigue is a real problem and just remembering them is a major pain, well if you haven’t tried LastPass now is the time. If you’re going to be using the tablet a lot then this could take the pain away from typing out passwords on that glass screen. A very simple interface it provides a super secure way to store your passwords. There are browser plugins for normal desktop browsers and a mobile client for Windows Phone. Download Link

Kindle - Free

One of the top things to do on a tablet is read and it’s good to see Amazons Kindle app is here for Windows 8. It has all the syncing and cloud connected book features you have come to expect and its free, so go and grab it. Download Link

Netflix – Free

Netflix has been around for Windows Phone since launch and we’re stoked to see them turn up so quickly on Windows 8. You’ll obviously need to get your Netflix subscription but if you have never tried it there’s normally an offer to try it out. We suggest you get downloading and checking this app out. Nice that it works on all your devices. Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8. Three screens baby! Download Link

Hulu – Free

Popular US-only streaming service Hulu has been a big hit, and the Windows 8 app has just recently hit the store and it’s looking great. You require a subscription but like Netflix there’s always a deal floating about to try it for free for a while. Download Link

There are tons of apps in the store waiting to be installed, many of them are free and our list is by no means extensive. We’d really like to hear your honest recommendations for apps you have found and are using for Windows 8. We’ll be checking the comments bellow and look forward to hearing from you. Its early days for the Store so we’ll likely revisit this again down the road. In fact we already have a games feature coming, just for you!

Robert Brand