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August 28, 2015

10 useful apps for Windows 10

How has Microsoft upped the game in the new version of its operating system?

By Alexander Sword

Windows 10 launched to widespread acclaim in late July. The new operating system comes with a range of new and upgraded apps; CBR has rounded up some of the best and most useful.

1. Photos

The Photos app provides access to your collection of photos from any device, backing up every image at full resolution in OneDrive.

The Collection section shows all photos in chronological order, while the Albums section automatically generates albums based on parameters such as date taken and location.

You can edit your photos within the app, with auto-enhancing and filters available. You can also share directly through email from the app.


2. Microsoft Edge

This replacement for the widely criticised Internet Explorer brings Web Note allows the user to treat a web page like an actual page by writing, typing and doodling, then share the annotations with others.

Also aiming to make the browser more intuitive, Reading View allows you to view a page without the distraction of ads or address bars.

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The much-hyped Cortana allows the user to search in the address bar, but uses Microsoft-owned Bing! rather than the generally preferred Google.


3. Maps

Some people will always swear by Google Maps, but this new offering for Windows 10 provides most of the same features.

Like Google Maps, it builds in real-time traffic information and offers options for public transport, but adds in voice-guided navigation.

The inter-operability with other apps is also a useful feature; you can pin locations to the Start menu and share locations with friends or on OneNote.


4. Groove Music

Groove Music replaces Windows Media Player and Xbox Music as the main centre for music in Windows 10.

Like most music players, you can add your music collection and organise it in playlists, as well as play it on other devices running the app.

An additional Groove Music pass will allow you to stream and download music from the library of around 40 million songs; more than Spotify and Apple Music at around 30 million.


5. Mail

The built-in Mail app can be synced with different email accounts and serve them up in one interface.

Again, it works with other Windows apps; in a feature that may be familiar to Android users, your calendar will grab events from your email and trigger notifications.

It makes options more easily visible and also adds an archive function for individual emails.


6. Films and TV

This app follows a similar model to Groove Music – it provides both a home for your personal video connection as well as a link to the Windows Store to rent or purchase video.

It has weekly new releases, almost immediate access to TV shows and personalised recommendations just for you.

For the on-the-go film watcher, it helpfully syncs between devices so that you can resume watching a film from the same place on a different device.


7. Fresh Paint

The virtual drawing world has come a long way since the days of Microsoft Paint; Fresh Paint, launched for Windows 8, has received an upgrade.

Now compatible with touch, mouse and stylus input, the app will allow users to create images on any Windows device with a range of watercolours, oils, pencils and pastels.

Images to work with can be imported or captured via the camera.


8. Drawboard PDF

PDFs prioritise visual appeal over editing functionality, unlike Office files or txt files, which are fairly universally editable.

Drawboard allows you to annotate existing PDF files without having to print them out, and save them in the same format.

The app provides a three-day free trial and can be purchased for £7.69 in the Windows Store.


9. Flipboard

Styling itself a ‘personal magazine’, Flipboard serves up an array of tailored content to the user based on preference.

Through the Discover button on the free Windows 10 app, which comes with a simple-to-navigate grid design, you can choose sources of interest and press the + button to save it into your own feed.

The service can also be connected to social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


10. Wunderlist

For the busy and mobile worker, Wunderlist provides a useful tool to organise day-to-day administrative tasks.

You can build to-do lists and easily share these with colleagues and co-workers, as well as initiating conversations around them.

Usefully, all the lists are shared across all devices.

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