For notebooks, tablets and desktops running its operating system to be successful, finding the best Windows 10 apps needs to be a thing that real people want to do. The Windows Store isn’t just Microsoft’s place for users to buy music and video. Windows 10 apps are the biggest opportunity that Windows has to go from being something that people just tolerate to something that they love.
Code that allows you to do things Microsoft hadn’t thought of yet is a key part of what made Windows successful. The operating system is synonymous with getting work done because its ecosystem is so versatile. From creating music to editing video, it has never been very difficult to find a program to do something on Windows.
Read: What is Windows 10?
Microsoft hopes that Windows 10 apps will be just as popular as programs have been. Windows 10 apps aren’t always free. Some of them cost a few dollars but are well worth the investment thanks to careful crafting by their developers. These apps can add features that you haven’t dreamed of and enable you to do new things you didn’t realize you’d need to do when you first purchased your Windows 10 laptop, Windows 10 desktop or Windows 10 tablet.
Best Windows 10 Apps for 2017
Windows 10 apps are supposed to take this a step further. All the tools are there for a better experience. Content from the best Windows 10 apps can be shared easily because many of them support sharing without any extra work. You can install and uninstall something in the Windows Store without having to worry that it might have left files on your computer or broken a feature that you need to keep your Surface Pro 4 or Windows 10 laptop working.
More importantly, Windows 10 apps don’t necessary have to be reproductions of apps available on your smartphone. The Windows Store is designed for the strange transition that we find ourselves in. Windows 10 apps can be programs packaged for the Windows Store or fresh apps designed specifically for the current crop of PCs. The best Windows 10 apps are ready for any kind of way you want to interact with them, whether it be through touch or a mouse and keyboard.
In addition to these apps, Gotta Be Mobile also has a run down of alternative Windows 10 apps that allow you to connect to services that aren’t officially available on Windows 10. This round-up includes ways to access YouTube, Google Hangouts and more.
My Daily Windows Apps
Windows 10 made its debut back in 2015. Since then, I’ve become a big adopter of apps available within the Windows Store. I rely on them daily, so much so that I’ve mostly abandoned the programs that you can download over the web. One reason I like them is their Live Tiles. I use them to avoid having to open each app.
Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar – These two Windows 10 apps come preinstalled on every notebook, desktop or tablet. You can use them with Outlook.com, Yahoo, Gmail addresses and most business email accounts. They support Live Tile notifications so that you know what your next appointment is or who just sent you an email without opening them.
Newsflow – This app provides one central place to pull together all the websites that interest you daily. The app’s Live Tile shows you the latest news. It adds very important stories to your Action Center on a regular basis.
Huetro – Huetro is the best way to control Philips Hue lightbulbs on Windows. That’s key as Windows doesn’t have a Philips Hue app like iOS and Android have.
Netflix – It’s the only digital video subscription you really must have.
Hyper – Hyper lets you log in and comment on YouTube videos. You can also download them for watching later.
NPR One – NPR One sells itself as public radio made more personal. It’s a great way to instantly get a feed of interesting reporting from the organization when your local public radio station is playing music instead.
Word Mobile – Created for those that need less power than the Desktop program, Word Mobile allows you to read documents for free on any size screen and create new documents for free on devices that have screens smaller than 10.1-inches.Built in OneDrive cloud storage support and collaboration tools make it very valuable.
EnPass – EnPass lets you create a database of passwords to log into your favorite sites. This saves you from having to remember them. PCs with Windows Hello cameras and fingerprint readers can use them as a substitute for a password to unlock EnPass. There are EnPass apps on Android and iPhone too.
Photoshop Elements – The best casual photo editing tool around. Photoshop Elements is a program that’s been packaged as an app for the Windows Store. Casual, Intermediary and Expert configurations let you create a workflow fit for your skill set.
Poki – Poki makes it possible to save interesting articles from around the web in a single place for offline reading later. It connects to the Pocket website and apps for iPhone and Android.
Trakter – Trakter lets you track your favorite shows and know when they’re about to air. It connects to the Trakt.tv service that’s available on the web. There are companion apps for iPhone and Android.
8Stream – This is a companion for Amazon’s Twitch game streaming service.
OneNote – Create notebooks using your device’s digital pen or your keyboard and mouse, all with this free app that syncs to notebooks, desktops, smartphones and smartwatches.
Best Entertainment Apps
Netflix – When it’s time to relax and enjoy some video entertainment, there’s no better app than Netflix. The service has a huge library of titles to stream and original shows to download for offline watching.
Hulu – Another video streaming service, Hulu is built more around television shows than it is movies.
Groove Music – Another app that comes included with Windows 10, Groove Music allows you to stream the music that you keep stored on Microsoft’s OneDrive. It has a dedicated subscription service too.
VUDU – VUDU is one of the few places you can buy movies and television shows and have them available on any device. It now lets you unlock digital copies of DVDs that you own too.
Xbox – The Xbox app acts as a great companion to Microsoft’s console. You can use it independently for PC gaming too. It supports, video streaming, picture capture, messages and voice chat. Some games allow you to play against people with Xbox consoles.
Best News Apps
Newsflow – Newsflow pulls together RSS Feeds and Google News alerts for easy browsing.
NextGen Reader – NextGen Reader pulls together RSS feeds, but it connects directly to the Feedly service so that you can sync your RSS feeds with iPhone and Android too.
USA Today – The best app for news directly from any news organization, USA Today is far easier to browse and share articles from than the USA Today website.
MSN News – This is Microsoft’s own news app. You can use it to get emergency alerts on what’s happening in the world. There are companion apps that sync to iPhone and Android.
CBS News – Home of the digital CBS News All Access video streaming channel, CBS News also has written pieces and links to all the content that airs on the broadcast network.
Best Windows 10 Games
Fallout Shelter – Fallout Shelter only recently came to Windows. You get to build your own vault from the series and unlock Xbox live Achievements.
Asphalt Extreme – This is an arcade racing game that supports motion controls and the Xbox One Wireless Controller.
Minecraft – One of the most popular video games on any platform. Minecraft has Xbox Achievements, a sandbox mode and support for the Xbox Wireless Controller.
Forza Horizon 3 – This recently released driving game offers an open-world race event in Australia. Achievements and controllers are supported. Your progress syncs between Xbox One and PC.
Halo Wars 2 – Halo Wars 2 is a new real-time strategy game. Buy it on PC and you can play it on Xbox One at no addition charge. It features a single player story and multiplayer experience.
Dragon Mania Legends – Dragon Mania Legends lets you breed and raise your own band of battle dragons.
Minecraft Story Mode – Minecraft Story Mode is an episode adventure game from Telltale games. It has Xbox Live Achievements and controller support.
Best Shopping Apps
Microsoft Shopping Assistant – Microsoft Shopping Assistant lets you add shopping tools to Microsoft’s Edge web browser.
Amazon – A recreation of the Amazon website, this app simply acts as a shortcut for buying stuff from the company.
Best Social Apps
Facebook – The biggest social network by far, the Windows app adds notifications for new posts and Facebook Live streaming to your Windows 10 PC.
Tweet It – Tweet It supports multiple Twitter accounts and a column layout for tracking topics and people easily. You can add animated images pretty easily too.
Twitter – The official Twitter app includes notifications, user blocking and Live Tiles for seeing recently posted items without opening the app.
Instagram – Instagram lets you use your device’s camera to post photos and get photo messages from others.
GroupMe – GroupMe lets you create chats that everyone can post in through text messages or the GroupMe app on their phone.
Meme Generator – Sometimes you can’t find the best image to get your joke across. Meme Generator let you create your own from a library of available images or from your own photo library.
Readit – Readit is the best app for interacting with Reddit around.
Best Travel Apps
Expedia – Book a trip, complete with hotels and a car rental with the Expedia app for Windows.
Uber – Uber for Windows allows you to order a car and track a car you’ve already ordered. Additionally, you can ask the Cortana personal assistant to get you an Uber.
Best Business Apps
My USPS – This is the official app for shipping packages and sending mail through the United States Postal Service.
Office Lens – Office Lens lets you turn whiteboard drawings and documents into PDFs and sheets for your OneNote digital notebook.
Code Writer – Code Writer lets you write code, complete with markup suggestions and FTP features.
Slack – A business-focused chat service that creates digital channels for communicating with the people you work with. This is another Desktop program repackaged as a download for the Windows Store.
Office 365 Admin – Control our company’s user accounts and licenses with the Office 365 Admin app. This app also lets you track problems with the Microsoft-made services that your business relies on.
Drawboard PDF – Markup your PDFs with Drawboard PDF for Windows. It supports digital pens and is a much better PDF reader than the default, Microsoft Edge.
PowerPoint Mobile – Use PowerPoint Mobile to collaborate and create presentations for your business. It supports many of the same features that the Desktop program does.