The Windows Store offers seemingly countless Windows apps, with titles that promise to entertain you, make you more productive and help you learn more about the world. But not every app delivers on its promise. And some apps provide a better value for the price than others.
Let's take a closer look at the top Windows apps available now in the Windows Store. From apps that will help you retouch photos to those that will allow you to explore the universe, the following programs represent some of the best options available for your Windows device. Check them out:
If you've ever wanted to explore the solar system and visit planets to learn more about what's out there, Orrery can help. The $2.49 app lets you visually search the solar system and includes some background music to help you relax and see what's out there.
AIDA64 is a free hardware and software utility that shows you all kinds of critical diagnostic information about your computer and applications. You'll get a sense of what components are running on your device, information about sensors, insight into your battery and much more.
If you don't mind spending $10 to save some cash, Money Tracker Pro might be a good option. The app gives you full control over your cash flow and expense tracking. It integrates with Quicken, MS Money and other personal finance apps. You can also track your stock portfolios through the app.
This may sound obvious, but you should download the official Netflix app instead of using the browser to watch your favorite shows. After logging in through the app, you'll have full access to the streaming service's entire library of content, and you can change your resolution settings, turn on captions and more. It's a full-featured streaming app.
TouchRetouch has earned its place as one of the more well-respected photo editors on Windows. While the $1.49 app won't give you all the bells and whistles you'd expect to find in Photoshop, it will let you touch up photos, apply filters, boost color and much more. It's also easy to use and makes editing photos a cinch.
If you're not so keen on paying for a photo editor, consider PicsArt. It's not as powerful as TouchRetouch, but the free app will allow you to beautify your photos before you share them with friends and family. You can create collages through the app, draw on your photos and more.
Across iOS, Android and the PC, Gaiam has built quite an empire of apps, and Yoga Studio is one of the best. The $3.99 app provides access to instructional content on how to perform every last yoga maneuver. It's designed for anyone, so even if you're a novice, Yoga Studio can work for you.
Video Editor Master is a video-creation and -editing app that allows you to quickly create slide shows set to music. You can also create different effects with an eye toward improving the look and feel of the final version. Video Editor Master is a simple app, so it won't match up to Adobe Premier, but the free offering provides a quick way to create some home videos.
Star Walk 2 is another app you can use to learn more about the stars. The $2.99 app helps you find the exact location of more than 200,000 stars, planets, constellations and satellites in the night sky; it will even tell you where the International Space Station is.
Sometimes, coloring can be a nice way to relieve some stress. Consider downloading the Abstract Coloring Book, a program that lets you color in a variety of pictures with any hue you want. The app has both sophisticated pictures for adults and simpler options for children, so the whole family can try it out.
YouTube works well in the browser, but if you're a serious fan of the streaming video service and want something a bit nicer, turn to myTube, which gives you access to YouTube in a refined interface that makes finding content a bit easier. You can also read comments, check out channels and do just about everything else you'd do when surfing YouTube on your browser.
If you have a bunch of pictures and want to create a collage for yourself or someone else, Pic Collage is up to the task. The app collects all of your pictures and lets you arrange them against the background of your choosing. You can then share your collages on social media or print them to put on your wall. The app's developer, Cardinal Blue Software, recently added seasonal stickers, too, so you can relive memories around different holidays.
Recipe Keeper Pro is one of the handier apps you'll come across in the Windows Store, especially if you're a fan of cooking. While it's a recipe organizer that keeps all your favorite meal secrets in one spot, the app also has a shopping list feature and a meal planner to help you determine what you want to have for dinner each night. Best of all, you can download the $4.99 Recipe Keeper Pro across your devices and sync all your content.
TeamViewer has long been one of the more popular remote control apps, due in large part to its outstanding design. With TeamViewer, you can remotely access and control any computer for which you have an ID and password. You can also share files between your local machine and a remote one, engage in chat and much more.
RSS readers have lost their way in recent years, but you can still find some nice ones out there if you look hard enough. One to try out is Nextgen Reader, an app that lets you choose your desired publications and access curated content at your leisure. The $2.99 app also comes with a nice design that makes reading content a bit easier.
In a world where it's getting harder to remain anonymous, Telegram Desktop tries to provide a bit more security. The app is a full-featured messaging tool, allowing you to send text, photos, videos and files to other people. But here's the kicker: Everything shared through Telegram Desktop is secured with a combination of 256-bit AES and 2048-bit RSA encryption, as well as Diffie-Hellman secure key exchange.
StaffPad isn't one of the most popular apps included in this roundup, but it's outstanding nonetheless. The app is a music-notation program that lets you digitally write music on the screen. It then takes those notations and converts them to a typeset score you can edit, play back and share with others. It's a little on the expensive side, at $70, but if you're looking for a way to create a really nice music score, StaffPad will help you do it.
Weather applications are a dime a dozen, but MyRadar still stands out from the crowd. The app strips away all the ancillary information, just giving you insight into where the bad weather is and when it's coming your way. The app automatically finds your location and will give you up-to-date radar so you can see what's brewing around you. Plus, MyRadar simply looks nice while putting the information you care about front and center.
Whether you're a novice or professional photographer, KVADPhoto+ Pro is worth a look. The $4.99 app provides both simple and sophisticated image-processing tools and lets you apply a slew of filters, effects, frames and other features to your photos. You can also retouch images so they look a bit better before publication.
Wunderlist is easily one of the best to-do-list and tasks apps out there, and it provides an outstanding experience on Windows. The app lets you create tasks for home and work and share them with friends and family. You can even collaborate on tasks in real time, and all of your to-do lists can be synced across your devices.
Anyone looking for a digital place to store their deepest thoughts will be happy to stumble upon Diarium. The app is a personal diary or daily journal that lets you share your thoughts. Diarium also includes rich media support, so you can attach pictures and audio to your memories; it will also alert you when you haven't written anything lately.
It might be a Microsoft app, but Windows Defender Hub is still a pretty useful security tool. The app offers access to Windows Defender, of course, but it also provides you with some handy security tips and the latest security headlines, so you can see whether you're at risk of contracting a nasty bug. Knowledge is critical to safeguarding yourself, and Windows Defender Hub can help you with that.
WolframAlpha is one of the best ways to learn more about the world and get answers to sophisticated queries. Type in complex math equations into the service, for example, and it'll spit out an answer. WolframAlpha will also give you information on physics and the weather, and provide more context to information than you'd find in a service like Google. Better yet, it's learning new things all the time.
Slack has quickly become one of the more popular office productivity tools out there. The service offers teams the opportunity to collaborate around different topics that are arranged in channels. Slack includes support for file, photo and video sharing and offers direct messaging for private conversations. All of that information gets synced across apps.
If you need a little help organizing and renaming all of your entertainment content, you can turn to FileBot. The $19.99 app holds all of your movies, TV shows, anime and music, and matches them against TheMovieDB and TheTVDB to assign names. From there, you can modify those titles, organize them and more. It's also a nice add-on utility for media players like Plex or Kodi.