The Growing Windows Store

The Growing Windows Store
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Mar 9, 2016- We have been exposed to the Windows 10 experience for quite some time now. The new Microsoft operating system brings with it an entire ecosystem of Windows Apps guided by the principle of a united app ecosystem that can run on devices of varying sizes and even on the Xbox gaming console. One of Windows 10’s core features, Microsoft is banking on the flexibility of their Universal Apps model to push app developers to develop Windows Store apps as well, since streamlining one app for all devices is significantly easier with Microsoft’s ecosystem. 

It’s a good idea that benefits both the user and the developer in the end. Users need to install an app
once on any Windows 10 device to have it instantly available across all of  their Windows 10 devices. Developers can also develop their apps for different devices keeping
80 precent of their code intact. Microsoft is definitely on to something here—but just how well has this idea been implemented? The Windows Store still lags significantly behind Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store considering the number of apps available. With the success of Windows 10, developing the Windows Store has turned quite profitable and a lot of developers have already started to work on apps for the Windows Store.
Currently, all major social media and internet giants have already released stable apps for the Windows Store that supports scalability between devices. Microsoft also ships Windows 10 with well designed and developed apps as part of the Universal Application Architecture, showcasing what their app architecture is capable of. So, apart from popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there are some really well designed and
developed apps from third-party developers that make optimal use of Microsoft’s new app architecture. We take a look at some of the great apps that are currently available for
download.
  • Wunderlist: Although not technically third-party—since Microsoft’s acquisition of the task management app from 6Wunderkinder in 2015—Wunderlist is too great an app to leave out. Wunderlist is a basic app that lets you draw out to-do lists and set reminders for yourself but what makes it great is its clean design that blends well, not only with Windows’ design aesthetic but with the design language of all other platforms as well, like Android and iOS. The app does its work beautifully and as it’s a cloud-based task management system, any reminder I might have set for myself gets pushed on all of my devices. Wunderlist sends me a notification on my Android phone as well on my Windows 10 laptop for any reminders that I might have set for myself; and the app’s ability to notify me, no matter what platform I’m on, is a great feature to have, especially if the app depends on scheduling important tasks for you. 
  • StumbleUpon: StumbleUpon is a website that many of us are acquainted with on the web, but haven’t really seen the need to actually download an independent app for the service. While earlier, StumbleUpon would stay as a tab on my browser that, after a couple of stumbles, would remain dormant, letting me switch easily from my browser to the StumbleUpon app that came as a welcome distraction while reading or working.
  • Flipboard: Flipboard is a well-known app among both Android and iOS users. The app is a virtual magazine that aggregates internet contents based on your interests. The personalised virtual magazine graces the Windows Store as well and now your virtual magazine can be easily accessed on all your devices inclusive of your laptop or desktop. Flipboard’s simple grid-based design makes it really easy to navigate through the app and the magazine-styled layout of articles also improves readability. Flipboard was a great app on Android and iOS and, now, is a great app on Windows devices as well. 
  • VLC for Windows Store: Everyone who’s used a computer is aware of the awesome VLC Media Player that can play almost any media file you throw at it. After VLC, all talk of plugins and codecs were redundant since the player was standalone and didn’t require any codecs to be installed on the computer. VLC Media Player is a great media player that worked great for basic users who just wanted to watch a movie as well as for professional users that wanted a player that could perform more complex tasks. VLC for Windows Store does not disappoint the basic users since the player still supports a multitude of media types but unfortunately does offer the advance usability of the desktop app. The options on the player are quite rudimentary but works great when you just want to use it as a player and nothing else. It supports subtitles, multiple audio tracks, playback and subtitle speeds, and chapter selection; so basic users should be covered with VLC for Windows Store but professional users might want to stick to the desktop version for now. 
  • Reddit: If you’re a Redditor, you might have struggled through a lot of third-party Reddit apps that just aren’t very good. There is Alien Blue for iOS that has an aggregate store rating of one and a half stars while the Play Store is just a mess with many Reddit apps that are horribly designed and developed. Windows 10 seems to have averted this problem and the Readit app for Windows Store is a pleasure to use. The app is really well-designed and using it is as simple as browsing through the site itself.
With the popularity of the Windows App ecosystems on a  rise, many developers have started developing for the Windows Store as well. And since an app developed for the Windows Store can easily be used by anyone on any kind of Windows device, developers can reach out to a much larger audience than on Android or iOS. The amount of apps on the Windows Store is growing, so if you’re on a Windows 8 or 10 machine, do explore the Windows Store and you might just find a gem that improves your experience on the operating system.
the kathmandupost
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