No decent apps for Windows 8? Think again! Here are 27 great Windows 8 apps
Tweetium (£1.99, 7-day free trial) – The official Twitter app for Windows 8 is like a Creme Egg: alright, but not very filling. Tweetium makes use of all the available screen space, so instead of just providing one narrow column of tweets from your timeline, it uses Windows 8-style tiles to pack in the latest from your feed. There’s a fine selection of light and dark themes to choose from – the one in our screenshot is Midnight blue glow – and options to change the size of the text to suit your screen. It updates the second new tweets arrive, unlike the official app, and although we’d like a few more advanced options, it’s the best Twitter client we’ve found for Windows 8.
Facebook (Free) – For our money, Windows 8 has the best Facebook app of any platform, largely because the social network has resisted the temptation to fiddle with it too much. It mimics the design of the website, but is more evenly spaced to avoid fat-finger syndrome for tablet users. Messaging isn’t split off into a separate app, like it is on iOS, and the live tile scrolls through friends’ updates on your Start screen, including photos and statuses. However, the best thing about Facebook on Windows 8 is that it’s not constantly trying to change your News Feed setting back to Top Stories, like the website does, and ads are nowhere to be seen. Bliss.
Foursquare (Free) – The FourSquare app for Windows 8 is stunningly well designed, and not merely a port of the company’s Android or iOS apps. Designed to help you to find places to go, based on the recommendation of friends and other FourSquare members, this app is like a highly personalised Time Out. On the homescreen it lists the nearest attractions to your current location, with rating and mini-reviews from fellow users rotating on the screen to give you an instant flavour for whether that Chinese restaurant does a decent dim sum, or whether you’ll find clean bedding in a hotel. As with many Windows 8 apps, search is awkwardly hidden away in the Search charm, but it’s the one flaw in an otherwise spotlessly implemented app.
Flipboard (Free) – Separate social apps are a pain in the index finger if you’re a Facebook and Twitter junkie. Flipboard rolls them both into one delightfully presented app, and much more. As the name signposts, this app turns your social feeds into flippable, magazine-style pages, with presentation every bit as elegant as the coffee table fodder you’ll find on newsagents’ shelves. As well as social networks, Flipboard sucks content from your chosen news feeds and selected partners, such as Vanity Fair, The Economist and others, formatting it all into an easy-to-read layout. It even lets you become a magazine editor, curating and commenting on articles you’ve seen in other feeds for your own readers. This magazine lark will never catch on, though.
Reddit with Redditting (Free) – The social news aggregator, Reddit, is a peculiarly wonderful site. Nowhere else could you find a compilation video of a son repeatedly scaring his poor father alongside reports of the latest atrocities in Syria. The site’s byzantine structure can be intimidating and difficult to browse on tablet browsers, but the awkwardly named Reddit With Redditting does a fine job of smoothing the rough edges, making it easy to scroll through the various content channels (or subreddits), read and make comments, and hide or favourite your selected posts. You can also submit your own posts from within the app, but spend some time learning the mores of the Reddit community if you don’t want to be ignored or savaged in comments at the first attempt.