With the growing number of apps launching on the Windows 10 platform, it can be easy to miss new app announcements or completely overlook quality existing ones that many users wouldn’t even think to search for.
To help in the discovery of some of the best apps that Windows 10 has to offer, I decided to ask several WinBeta staff members what apps they currently use the most on their Windows 10 devices. Naturally, with Microsoft’s new Universal apps that run on both PC and mobile devices, this article could get quite lengthy and convoluted very quickly, so for the sake of time and clarity all of the apps mentioned on this page are the apps primarily used on Windows 10 computers such as the Surface Pro or traditional PC and not in Windows 10 Mobile on smartphones or select tablets (however some may be compatible with these devices).
Here are the best Windows 10 apps for PC that we love, use, and recommend to others.
Kareem: I’m taking advantage of apps such as myTube for video content, Cast for podcasts, Nextgen Reader for news, the Microsoft Money app for finances, Audible for books while I write, the Edge browser for research, and Readit for my Reddit itch.
I also find myself wasting time with Instapic (only until Rudy gets around to porting over 6tag or Facebook gets off its ass and produces a worthy universal Windows Instagram app), and the tower defense game, Siegfall.
Oliver: What Windows 10 apps I use depends more on what device I’m using. For my traditional PC, I tend to stick with the usual desktop apps. On devices like my Surface, I use Edge, Mail, Maps, Weather, Calendar, Calculator, OneNote, Photos, Movies & TV, Groove, basically the full roster of native Windows 10 apps. This is because native Windows 10 apps are super lightweight and power efficient on top of being pretty “touchable.”
Microsoft’s new feedback-driven development paradigm means constant, useful improvements to apps are added on a regular basis such as GIF support for Photos, or making the player control bar translucent to see subtitles in Movies & TV, or changing the location of buttons in OneNote Mobile, or FLAC support in Groove. These native Universal apps are quickly transitioning from “useless garbage” to “usable lightweight alternatives.”
I adore Photos and Groove. They have pleasant UIs, support several file formats, and are unobtrusive. Moreover, as I constantly find myself reinstalling operating systems, convenient cloud storage is really important to me. That Groove and Photos can so seamlessly access and even download my OneDrive collections is a massive timesaver.
Mark: I spend a surprising amount of time researching various topics, not the least of which involve stories for WinBeta. Two of my favorite Windows 10 apps for doing this are Tweetium (the excellent third-party Twitter app that provides an easy-to-scan horizontal view of my Twitter feed) and Nextgen Reader (the best RSS reader app on any platform, bar none). Between those two I can keep up with fast-breaking news that I might otherwise miss.
My next most-used Windows 10 app is Wunderlist, the excellent task manager that Microsoft purchased in 2015. With it, I can create and manage tasks, use the folders function to create myriad different task categories, and the Live Tile lets me see at a glance where I’m procrastinating the most.
Other Windows 10 apps that I use quite often are Netflix (because every now and then a guy just has to unwind), the NFL app (which is being retired now that the Colts’ season came to an inglorious end), and Flipboard (for when I’m too lazy to actually search through RSS feeds).
Cameron: Growing up in a musically diverse home, I developed a deep love for various genres of music production. I’m always on the hunt for the next exciting music app that can spark immediate inspiration.
With the recent release of Properllerheads Figure app on Windows 10, I’ve found my inspiration. This app is perfect for quick ideas, project making or music experimentation, with little learning curve required. The issue that plagues many music production applications is the steep learning curve and inability to properly use it in a mobile way. My love for Figure is its design towards touch and mobility. Simply dragging one’s finger across the colored pads can invoke an immediate idea for music creation.
With the ability to upload your creations to popular social sites like Soundcloud and Twitter, you have an excellent app geared towards the producer on the go.
Zac: When Windows 10 first launched, I wasn’t too convinced I’d actually use universal apps on my desktop. However, a couple app developers have proven me wrong by building fully-fledged, desktop-like apps that I actually enjoy using and find useful every single day. The two apps I use most on my Windows 10 PC are Tweetium and Readit (Tweetium being a Twitter client and Readit being a Reddit client).
Tweetium is good in many ways as I also use the app on my phone, allowing for app credentials and customizations to sync between my devices with ease. I have this app pinned directly on my Start Menu for easy access to my latest notifications without needing to open the app, but when I do open the app I am welcomed with a full-screen Twitter experience that is smooth and works exactly like you’d expect it to.
I’ve always thought Reddit was an “ugly” site compared to others, so the Readit app helps me navigate it by introducing a beautiful, Windows 10-style user interface that I simply can’t get enough of. I use the app to see the latest happenings around Reddit, usually in the Ask Reddit or Windows 10/Windows Phone forums. Sometimes the front page catches my eye too, and that’s all thanks to Readit.
Bryan: I am devoted to two Windows 10 apps in particular: Nextgen Reader and Plex. Nextgen Reader is a fantastic RSS reader that has a great UI and sees a lot of love from the developers. There are numerous options for taking articles and sharing them out to various places, and the scaling of the app as it’s resized is spot on. It doesn’t do a whole lot, but it doesn’t need to.
Plex is the client software for the home media server of the same name. The Windows 10 client is fast, has support for a bunch of configuration options and it looks fantastic. You’ll still need another computer running the server side of things, but it’s a fun project and immensely satisfying to use once it’s all up and running.
Myself: The Windows 10 app I probably open the most on my Surface Pro is the new game, Age of Empires: Castle Siege. It may be a game with a few flaws (such as the lack of motivation for players to actually battle other players) but the gradual upgrading of my city keeps me coming back several times a day. Another game I play is Taptiles which is a title that launched alongside Windows 8 and deserves a lot more attention than it currently gets. It’s a puzzle game that provides gameplay in a variety of difficulty levels and the music is very relaxing yet suitably stressful once levels get a little harder.
To read comics I use the official Comixology app. It’s a shame that it is no longer being supported and I truly hope Comixology comes around and invests in the Windows 10 consumer again as their new web browser reading experience doesn’t match the app one at all and also requires the user to be online at the time. I also use the Amazon Kindle app for some comics I have on that ecosystem.
For work I use the XE Currency app which is easily one of the fastest ways to convert expenses and Microsoft’s Translator app also gets a fair workout on a near-daily basis do to my need to work with Japanese media. I pretty much only ever copy and paste (or type) words into the translation field though and have yet to ever use any of the other features. The Netflix app is good however I mostly use that while traveling as I prefer to watch Netflix on the TV via my Xbox One while at home. Likewise for the SBS On Demand and Al Jazeera apps which get very little use at home thanks to their Xbox One counterparts but are opened quite often when on the road.
Do you use similar Windows 10 apps? Share your recommendations with the WinBeta community in the comments below.Further reading: Apps, Microsoft, Video Games, Windows 10, Windows 10 Apps