Windows 8/RT App Spotlight, Part 2
Just over a week ago, I asked everyone here at the Microsoft Tribe what their app situation was for apps on Windows 8 and Windows RT. Since then, Google has announced that it has no immediate plans to release apps for Microsoft's operating system, with Clay Bavor, Google Apps product management director, saying, "we are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8." As if that weren't enough, Google also dropped support for Exchange Active Sync (EAS) commonly used on non-Google platforms to sync key information including emails, contacts, and calendar data. This prompted understandable outrage from users of Google's services, and ultimately caused some users of Google's services to migrate away from the search giant where possible.
I, for one, switched to Outlook.com from Gmail and have to say I'm very glad I did. Before Google's announcement, I had admittedly little interest in switching from Gmail, though the layout of Outlook.com piqued my attention with its clean and classy look. After migrating all my contacts and emails from my Google accounts, I can't say I'm missing Gmail at all. In fact, within an hour of switching to Outlook.com, I had come to the conclusion that I actually prefer it.
But, this post isn't really about Outlook or Google's lack of support for Windows 8 and Windows RT, it's part two of the Windows 8 and Windows RT app spotlight--and the app situation for Windows 8 and Windows RT is getting better by the day.
What third party apps have you discovered recently that merit sharing, and what apps are you still waiting for? I've included my newest discoveries below--a few of which I had the fortune of discovering from comments made on my previous post.
The Kindle App is a given, really. I chose specifically not to include this app in my previous spotlight because it feels like an incomplete app. While most critical features of Kindle apps are represented in the Windows 8/RT version,
Kindle Store integration is piss-poor and books are not yet searchable--the search feature on the charms bar simply searches purchasable books from the store and, instead of presenting you with an interface to buy them within the app, it launches the browser.
Update: Since my initial inclusion of this app in the spotlight, the Kindle Store has now been properly integrated into the app. Book searching, however, is still noticeably absent.
Are you a heavy reader? Do you have everyone frequently tell you "oh, you really ought to read such-and-such, you'd love it!", but when the time comes, you either can't remember the books title or author or can't find the slip of paper you wrote it on? Bookqueue is a nifty, simple app that keeps track of books you intend to read.
Do you like to play hangman? Good. You'll love this app. It's simple, but has a great database of words to which you can hang all the men you can stomach.
Draw a Stickman Epic
Free introductory levels, $2.99 for full game
I'll admit, I was quite skeptical when I first loaded this game up, but after spending some time with it, it's actually quite interesting. The premise is simple: you're a stickman off to save your stick friend. With the aid of magical pencils, you fight your way through this simple, yet enjoyable adventure.
The front page of the Internet has never had so useful an app in its arsenal. /r/etro is an extremely user-friendly, powerful Reddit app.
Code Writer is a constantly-improving code-writing tool akin to Notepad++ in the Modern UI with syntax highlighting support for a whole host of coding languages including (but by no means limited to) C, C++, C#, Java, and HTML.
Free, $1.99 to remove ads
WordBook is a powerful dictionary and thesaurus application. You can use the app for free with ads, or remove them for $1.99. WordBook has the beauty of the similar dictionary.com app, with far more functionality. (Thanks to challengeaccepted for bringing this app to my attention.)
Though I've just wrapped-up my finals from my previous semester, this app's simplicity and neat functionality would certainly have made keeping due homework more easily accessible. For now, I use it to keep track of off-track projects, but can't wait to put it to use when I go back to school in the spring.
Apps previously highlighted:
See Part 1 of the Windows 8/RT App Spotlight
YouTube+, Nextgen Reader, TuneIn, PuzzleTouch, Netflix, Google
Apps I'm still waiting for:
VLC is still undergoing fundraising on Kickstarter for its Windows 8 development, and though I was excited before, seeing their design mockups for Windows 8 makes me even more excited.
Some sort of catalogue organiser
a mock-up design I made in GIMP
Perhaps this is a place where you on the Microsoft Tribe can help me. I'm look for a simple wiki-like database app that will allow me to keep articles of information that I write, preferably stored on SkyDrive, as a means of organising characters, places, and concepts for stories that I write. OneNote has so far come the closest, but still isn't quite what I am looking for. Any suggestions for an app of this sort would be most welcome.