One of Windows’ main advantages has always been the huge number of applications available for the platform. No matter what you want to achieve there will be some software out there to help you do exactly what you want. Though Windows 8 is still relatively new there are already hundreds of applications ready to help you be more productive and creative.
When you need to get things done then the first port of call is to gather all your ideas and thoughts in one place. Naturally, you might choose a laptop to do this and apps are available that can help you. Evernote is application that you can use as the central repository for everything in a project or just as a place to store all your ideas, contacts, notes, audio and video recordings, literally everything and anything.
Evernote helps you catalogue and sort all the information you come across in everyday life. If you’re running a business it can help you and your colleagues collaborate on a project letting you all communicate and share easily or, if you’re just working by yourself Evernote simply helps you to keep track.
A built-in OCR tool means Evernote can even read your hand written notes and make them searchable. There’s a sync tool that allows you to keep all your info in line across every device you own – so save something to your Evernote app at work and it’s there on your PC at home when you need it. Amazingly, Evernote is a free app, there is a paid-for version that removes adverts and offers some improved and extended services, but the free version is still impressive.
If you’ve ever needed to send large files you’ll know that often email just lets you down. Inboxes end up stuffed full or company size limits mean that even relatively small files bounce back or refuse to send. Thankfully there is a solution to this problem. YouSendIt is an application that allows you to send huge files to friends and work colleagues and takes all the guess work out of digital delivery. YouSendIt lets you to share a file up to a massive 2GB in size, you then just send whomever you want to share your stuff with a link and they can download the document much more easily. The YouSendIt server is encrypted using 128-bit SSL technology so it’s completely safe from hackers too.
Keeping in touch with team members on a project is really important when you want to get things done and the Skype app can help you here. No matter where in the world you all are it’s possible to keep in touch by text, phone or video from every Windows 8 device. As long as there’s an internet connection you can keep in touch and up-to-date with all your friends, family and workmates.
Of course, the traditional apps like Outlook and Word all help to keep you productive as well and these essential office tools also come highly recommended. With the new start screen there are a host of other simple apps that give you ultra-quick access to online services too. For instance, there’s a Google Search app that where you simply tap on the tile to be taken directly to the search engine that’s optimised for Windows 8.
Being productive is all well and good, but sometimes you just want to unleash your creativity and as you’d expect there are a host of applications for Windows 8 that will let you express yourself. Professional drawing and painting tools can be expensive, but there’s no need for them to be completely out of reach and there’s some excellent free stuff out there.
Fresh Paint is a touch optimised painting and drawing tool from Microsoft that offers a really intuitive and fun way of creating artistic masterpieces. Use different types of brush and mix paints much like you would with oil and canvas, but without the mess and expense. It’s free too.
If photography is more your thing then you could invest in a very expensive photo editing and management tool, but there’s really no need. Windows Photo Gallery allows you to sort, edit and show off your pictures in one simple application that costs nothing. You can create slide shows and export to the web after you’ve touched up your images removing red-eye, adjusting the contrast and cropping them to suit.
If music is more your thing then the Music Maker Jam app is a great tool that can help you make everything from a simple tune to a chart sensation. There are a host of loops to choose from letting you build simple yet effective tracks. As well as the pre-made loops you can add your own instruments and effects to your songs. Again this application has been designed to work really well with a touchscreen device, but naturally it also functions well with a traditional mouse and keyboard setup.
It’s not always easy to carry a grand piano around with you wherever you go, but thanks to Windows 8 you can have a software piano with you at all times. Piano8 is a software musical instrument that you can install on your PC so no matter where you are when the inspiration hits you there’s a piano for you to bash out your next song ready and available.
Whatever your particular creative interest there are hundreds of applications for Windows 8 to choose from. Many of the software tools have been designed with the touch screen interface in mind too so make perfect additions to the Windows 8 start screen and other touch features.