So, there are over 4,000,000 Windows applications floating around right now, according to Microsoft. Given how widely used the operating system has been in the past couple decades, nobody is really surprised by this as far as I can tell. With Metro changing things up, however, Windows is having to start from scratch in a way. Yes, the Intel based Windows 8 devices will have backward compatibility, but if the focus is to be brought onto Metro then there needs to be some real effort made to flesh out that ecosystem.
Right now, there are relatively few Metro apps in the store. What apps there are do happen to be free though, which gives us a chance to try them out. As such, we can point to a couple of the best options that people might want to consider grabbing at launch time, even without knowing how much the selection will soon expand.
If you’re going to be making use of multiple devices, and the whole point of the Metro UI push is to create a consistent experience across as many devices as possible, then having something like Evernote will come in really handy. It does nothing but store and sync notes for you. Every note gets a title and a date stamp for organization and you can arrange them into albums as needed. Most importantly, it works even when you don’t restrict yourself to Windows since apps are available pretty much everywhere these days.
Elements Weather Forecast**
Elements is probably the most useful weather app that I’ve seen for Windows 8 so far. I’m particularly fond of the quick 3-day forecast on the Start Menu. AccuWeather does a pretty good job in general, but I find the interface a little more pleasant in Elements and it is definitely less cluttered. Can’t really see anything else working better unless you have a strong desire for access to radar maps, which Elements admittedly lacks.
This is an obvious one on any tablet, but you’re going to need something to read on. Amazon is increasingly the best option anybody can hope for as far as eBooks go, so the Kindle App will be the best choice unless you have an existing library somewhere else. Right now there is only a preview version up and running, but even it works amazingly well.
If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share. While the selection is not, as I noted previously, anything like what we have to expect it will be by October, this is a great time to check out some of the apps that Microsoft apparently feels best showcase the potential of Windows 8’s Metro style. There is plenty to try and more on the way.
**It is only fair to note that the writer of this blog is indirectly affiliated with Jujuba Software, the creators of Elements Weather Forecast. He was not at any time involved in the creation, testing, or feedback of the software and no positive review was requested.