While the app selection in the Windows Store is growing rapidly, anybody will admit that there are still popular titles they would like to see represented. In some cases these are staples of computing that anybody would expect to be able to use on their computer or portable device while in others they are simply ideas that appear so obvious given the new interface that it’s amazing nobody has offered them yet. We’ve had one of each stand out recently.
Dropbox has become practically synonymous with free cloud storage in many circles. Not only are they one of the first names to gain popular attention, they are still one of the best services out there. It’s a convenient way to make sure that you always have access to the most recent version of vital files no matter what system you’re on, but it also makes possible a lot of file sharing and collaborative work.
With the new Dropbox app, we get some of that. Users will be able to access their files pretty easily, at least. You can also add files to your Dropbox account via the Share Charm. It’s a start. There is a distinct lack of features beyond that point, however. It’s a good thing to have the basics in place rather than waiting for a completely fleshed-out application that can do everything we want it to, especially given how heavily invested many people already are in the service. We can only hope that they hurry along the updates.
It has also just been announced that Big Fish Unlimited, the monthly subscription service from Big Fish Games that allows users to stream a selection of around 150 games, will be entering the Windows Store. This is a move that makes a lot of sense for this sort of service.
Even leaving aside the fact that Windows 8 accommodates touchscreen use enough to make casual gaming options a necessity, this provides some additional value to the user. The cloud-connected focus of Windows 8 makes streaming in general a smart move for app providers, and users of new portable devices will enjoy the decreased footprint that such an approach provides. Easy access to this sort of content without having to worry about installing potential malware or toolbars will also be a pleasant change for a large portion of the likely audience.
These might not be the biggest, best, or most important apps to come to the platform. I certainly hope that they would never be considered such. The fact that we’re getting more of the apps that people recognize and rely on will be a big deal when it comes to potential adoptors, though. The fact that Windows 8 starts on equal footing with regard to streaming compared to everybody else, whether we’re talking about videos or video games, also helps support the new devices in head to head comparisons.
It will likely be a while before the Windows Store matches the competition in terms of numbers, but advances are steady and useful nonetheless.