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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
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!
Still waiting on the definitive review from WPCentral, too many apple and android shills on those other sites
It may be some time as we had plans which have been delayed now...
That's the 1st app I looked for in my new Surface RT :)
as someone who was first in line for one today, I can say just go read Anadtech's review. It is everything Anand said and then some. All those hacks like Gizmodo and The Verge missed it badly this time....BADLY.
nice to see the app development coming for win8 and WP8.
Try something funny and interesting. When you have time go on the store and type the asterisk. Then hit enter. You will see the number of available apps growing by the hour. Thumbs up!
It's coming, not long now... RB
You you be more specific please?
Surface review, I believe, is what he's referring to.
I cant be more specific, we're going to have a Surface review, likley next week. We're in for a busy time. RB
Busy time!!?? Who care? This is one of the biggest tech stories of the year; not to mention a first for Microsoft, and you're sitting on the review? Other sites have had their reviews out for a few days now.
Note: if you want to be taken seriously, and not just by readers but by the likes of Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, you need to be a little more proactive. Take a look at Crackberry and how RIM gives them inside info, breaking news, units for review, etc. It's time to grow up as a site and make WPCentral a name brand and the place to go for for anything Windows phone and tablet related. Just my .02...
Nick, please remember that we are a windows phone site, not a general tech site. Therefore we did not get review units of the Surface. Once we have units to review, we will post reviews
@NickA It's WP Central, not WP&TCentral, not MSCentral. This is a site about mobile phones... Any other news is a bonus
Google?? Goodness no!
+1 get that shit off my system
LOL - I knew that one would get some traction, seriously, people use Google, the app is going to serve them. I didnt say it was better than Bing did I? :) RB
I used to use google. I dont trust them anymore. I look at it as spyware mostly because of their attitude towards privacy. I think Gmail, youtube and android are fine products, but they do not seem to care about privacy.. As far as search is concerned i prefer Bing on te desktop but google sadly is better in mobile. I dont understand why Bing doesn't work as well on WP.
It's funny you should say that cause the very reason why I stopped using most google products is because of the suspicous behaviour of some of their products. For example, I used to use chrome because I thought it was so much faster than other browsers, but I kept getting these notifications from my anti-virus software saying that "this google program or that google program was acting in a suspicious manner and do I want to give them access to blank". At first I ignored it, but then i got to thinking, what the hell is google doing that's freaking my anti-virus software out? Once I did some research into them as a company, I realized they weren't the company for me. The only service of theirs that I still use because there is no alternative is youtube.
I find Bing really bad on WP7. It was my first real exposure to Bing (I tried it once or twice before), so I have no desire to switch to using it on my PC. In Google searches I rarely have to refine the search or go to the second page. In Bing I'm forever refining, scanning results, refining more... then give up and go to Google.
Anything is better than Bing.
+1. When i saw it in the store i just said to myself "fuck it. they dont support wp7! die google"
There is a google search app for WP7..But I hear you. I hear you. They could (but wont) do better until the platform is firmly established. RB
Can't do my chemistry homework without adobe!
Taptiles! Really fun game and it will be one of those games you can pause and resume on you phone.
Just picked one up and it's nice