Whether you already own a Windows 8.1 computer or expect to get (or give) one this holiday season, you can make the most of it by downloading these five apps.
Cloud storage is already well integrated into Windows 8.1 courtesy of Microsoft’s OneDrive, so why not get the app? The OneDrive app lets you browse all of your uploaded files and automatically opens them in whichever app you set as default. It has a built-in photo viewer for easy slideshow presentations and even a basic photo editor.
From a touch perspective, the app is far superior to the Windows file explorer. Perhaps the best of all, the OneDrive app is free like the rest of the apps in our guide.
NASA’s Be a Martian app lets you browse all things outer space – it’s loaded with multimedia content including photos, videos, and audio clips. Be A Martian also brings you the latest news from NASA including updates on current missions.
It’s entertaining for adults and especially educational for children; the latter should have no issue navigating around (and might even learn it faster than the former).
Online-forum goers should look no further than Tapatalk for a great forum-browsing experience. This uncanny app lets you browse any forum that’s Tapatalk-enabled – like our own and those on our TechnologyGuide sister sites, for example – and store your login credentials for each one. Want to switch forums? Click or tap the back arrow then select it and you’re browsing.
You can reply to threads, post comments, add attachments, and view notifications as you would be able to via a standard web browser. The Tapatalk app works with a standard keyboard and mouse setup or a touchscreen, something which can’t be said about most browser-based forums.
Skype has a slick and well-designed Windows 8.1 app that lets you call and video chat with just about anyone in the world. This app has one of the simplest interfaces around and a handy quick-start tutorial for first-time users. If you’ve never used Skype, the app can create your account automatically provided you’re signed into Windows 8.1 with a Microsoft login.
For those who might not follow the latest in online music services, SoundCloud is one of the Internet’s exceedingly popular sites for streaming music and connecting to artists. Clouder! is a free Windows 8.1 app that lets you intuitively browse all of SoundCloud.
You can connect directly to your SoundCloud account just as you would through a normal web browser, post comments, and even download tracks. For touch users, Clouder! is significantly easier to use than the web-based SoundCloud.
With these five apps your Windows 8.1 machine will be made all the better. From cloud storage to exploring the stars, our recommended apps will help make your device all the more functional and entertaining. If you think we’ve missed something everyone should have, talk about it in our forums. Try posting about it with Tapatalk if your computer runs on Windows 8.1.