Windows 10 is a runaway success for Microsoft, with many users believing it is far superior to Windows 8 and even Windows 7. One of the nice additions in Windows 10 is the Universal App. These were first introduced in Windows 8 as Metro or Modern Apps, but with Windows 10 Microsoft has refined how they work making them even more useful than they ever have been before. Today, you can find almost any type of app you can think of in the Windows Store. Sure, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make this store the equal of Google Play or the App Store from Apple, but the service has already made great leaps and continues to improve each day.
Today, I thought we should highlight some of the best Windows 10 Universal apps that are currently available on the Windows Store and can comfortably run on even the most budget Windows laptops. I’m confident that you will find all of these apps fun and useful and beneficial to your system. In the end, they should help you be more productive and will make your Windows 10 experience even better than it ever has been before today.
Best Windows 10 Universal Apps
Enough of me rambling on, let’s get to the list, shall we? Remember, this list is always subject to change and could evolve. My choices aren’t in any particular order, as they are very different apps from one another. However, I do think they are some of the best the Windows Store has to offer. As always, if you have an app you think should make the list, feel free to comment below.
Price: Free/$7.99 a month subscription
There is no doubt that Netflix has changed the way we watch programming. Who doesn’t love a good binge watching session, after all? The Windows 10 Universal App is hands down my favorite way to use Netflix. The interface is large, clean and easy to use. In my opinion, it beats out the Android and the iOS versions of the apps very easily and is definitely better than accessing Netflix with a web browser. If you have Windows 10 and a Netflix subscription, then you definitely need to forget about your browser and install this app instead.
Price: Free/Subscription for more storage
Dropbox was really one of the first cloud storage providers to really achieve customer appeal, and they are still a leader in the market despite stiff competition from the likes of Google and even Microsoft. Dropbox is known for being available across all types of platforms, and you can easily install the desktop app on your Windows machine. But don’t discount the Universal app. It is clean and clear and very easy to use. It’s touch features make it easy to share and transfer files. While you may stick with the traditional app, this app is well made and makes it worthy of this list.
I have to admit I love the Universal app provided by Facebook. Sure it works in many of the same ways as the rest of the mobile apps out there, but it is just how everything looks that impresses me the most. I love seeing my newsfeed and images in a much larger format and I love the use of fonts on the system to provide a clean interface that is a pleasure to use. As if I needed something else to feed my Facebook addiction.
Facebook shocked the world when it spun its messenger app off on its own. Today, the reasons are clear, as it is one of the leaders in messaging today. Almost everyone has Facebook, and with it comes access to this service. You can use it to make calls, text messages and much more. The Universal app is no different, provided a beautiful interface that may just be the last chat/messaging app you will ever need.
We all know how popular Twitter has become. Sometimes I think we live by 128 characters these days. Twitter has almost always had a presence on mobile platforms, and with good reason. Sure, if you are using Windows 10, you can do everything in the browser, but the Universal app is no slouch by any means. Really, I prefer to look at Twitter on the app and even tweet using it versus the desktop browser experience. If you are an avid Twitter fan, I would suggest you give this one a test drive. I’m betting you will be tweeting about it in no time.
Do you have a vast library of movies and television shows on your computer? If you do, then you need a way to watch them. VLC Media Player has been the leader in this field for quite some time. Finally, they released a Universal app that is almost as powerful as their desktop app. I say almost as powerful because you won’t be able to add video effects or convert your movies, but you can do pretty much everything else, and it looks amazing while you do it. This is one of the best ways to organize your media in an easy to use environment so you can watch them whenever you are ready.
Price: Free, In-app purchases
This has been a long standing app that really others should measure themselves against when it comes to both features and design. The app itself is impressively beautiful, but it is also powerful. It offers multi-touch support and a host of filters and effects that allow you to design to truly impressive images. The paint effects are very realistic and easy to control. While there are some free additions you can add, if you want some of the best effects you will have to make a few purchases here and there, but overall it is worth it. If you love to draw, this is the Universal app for you.
Do you use Foursquare to find fun things to do or maybe some great places to eat? Foursquare is very much like Yelp. While they may be the industry leader, Foursquare has them beat when it comes to Universal App design. The app uses a clean tile layout making it feel right at home on the Windows 10 desktop. While you don’t need an account, if you do sign up it can start tracking your favorites and making smarter suggestions based on your tastes. If you need to find something to do or somewhere to go have a little fun, this is a great option to install on Windows 10.
Price: Free, Subscription options from $4.99 to $49.99 a year
Do you like keeping lists of what you need to do? If so, there are definitely tons of options out there. I think I have tried almost all of them in my search for the best To Do List tracker. On Windows 10, this is definitely one of my favorites. The interface is beautiful and it comes with all the features I need to effectively keep up with what I need to do. While the free version will work for most of you, there are more advanced versions that do come at a cost.
The Weather Channel
The weather app that comes with Windows 10 is pretty good, and for many of you it will be more than what you need. However, if you are looking for a little more in your weather app, then the Universal app from the Weather Channel could be the best option for you. It comes with all your basic weather features that you need along with many extras that will keep any weather buff busy for hours on end.
Price: Free, Subscription Options
This wouldn’t be a good list if I didn’t include Skype. Now, you may know that this is a big competitor to the Facebook Messenger app I mentioned above. Microsoft owned, this app was one of the early leaders in VoIP calling and gave millions of users the ability to chat using voice and video for free. On top of that, with a subscription, it can be used as your primary phone. The Universal app doesn’t disappoint either. Featuring a seamless Windows 10 interface and a host of features, if you don’t use Facebook for messaging this could be the best option for you.
Price: Free, In-app purchases
Who doesn’t love Instagram today? We love sharing images and using many of their cool filters to create unique pictures. On Windows 10, however, this isn’t your only option. Before you share them on that platform, why not try PicsArt instead to create amazing looking images. Featuring endless effects and the ability to even color correct your images, its image editing features puts Instagram to shame. If you use Windows 10, I highly recommend that you give this one a try.
This is only a short list of some of my personal favorites out there. Now I know I didn’t include any games in this list, we will save that for another day. If you use Windows 10, I encourage you to give Universal apps a try. In the end, they provide a beautiful experience and are often every bit as powerful as their desktop counterparts.
What are your favorite Windows 10 Universal apps? Tell me all about them in the comments below. If there is one that I didn’t include, maybe I will be tempted to add it to the list.