Hidden Gems

The best apps for Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

Microsoft Windows 8 is a fairly good operating system for desktops, laptops and tablets. In response to competition from Apple iPad and tablets running Google's Android, Microsoft coded an app store into Windows 8 (for the uninitiated, Windows 8 is the OS for PCs, laptops and tablets, while Windows Phone 8 is the OS for phones).

The Windows 8 store has quite a few good apps, but the search feature leaves a lot to be desired. For instance, if you search for Twitter, the official app is not the first result and is not even highlighted. It is hidden among several unofficial Twitter apps. Fortunately, Microsoft recently announced an update Windows 8.1 which is scheduled to launch on October 18. This update promises improvements in the search function. Until then, you can refer to this list for some great apps on Windows 8.

Twitter

Free

http://is.gd/LjMhDZ

Twitter is one of the world's most popular social networks with an official Windows app. If you have trouble finding it among the many unofficial Twitter apps on the store, look for an app called "Twitter", with a four-star rating. Plus, Windows 8 comes with an app called People, which shows you updates and notifications from all social networks, including Twitter. But the official Twitter app integrates the network's best features with those of Windows 8. Users can share content from other apps on Twitter with the share charm (swipe from the right edge, click to share) and pin the app to one side to keep an eye on updates while using other apps.

Kindle

Free

http://is.gd/3dxTLY

Love reading? Check out Amazon's Kindle Windows 8 app that lets you purchase and read books from your Amazon account. This app supports Whispersync technology, which syncs your notes, highlights, bookmarks and most recent location in the book across Amazon ebook readers and apps. You can continue reading a book in this app if you forget to carry your Kindle with you. The search feature is also quite good.

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