20 best Windows 8 apps to get your hands on

Get the most out of your Windows 8 tablet by using apps that have been designed for the Modern UI

RipTide GP

This was one of the first games we downloaded for testing Windows 8 tablets, and it's still one of the most fun racing games we've experienced on the platform. You can use the keyboard to control the jet ski around the water track, or you can make use of the motion sensor in your tablet to control the jet ski by moving the screen side to side and tilting it. The graphics are great, the action is fast, and there are plenty of opportunities to get big air off jumps.

Price: $1.99.

RipTide GP2 is available now, too, which costs $6.99.

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio is an audio streaming app that gives you access to over 60,000 radio stations. In addition to these stations, you can listen to other worldwide programs that offer music, sports, news, and podcasts. You can pin your favourite stations to the Start screen, for easy access later. The app also has backgrounding functionality, so you can listen to the audio while multitasking.

The Windows 8 app uses a square tile design, which is very touch friendly. The app itself is very simple to use, you browse by selecting on a section. You can filter the programs and radio stations by, location, music genres, sports, news, talk, language, and podcasts.

Price: Free

This app contributed by Cindy Ngo

Bubble Pop Star

When all you want to do is relax and not interact too much with the screen, then a bubble popping game such as Bubble Pop Star is a good choice. In this game, you have to pop bubbles in patterns that will get rid of the most bubbles in one hit. The more you pop with one tap, the more points you get. It’s a neat interface and the menu system is reminiscent of Angry Birds.

Price:

Bubble Breaker

There are other Bubble games that we like, too. Bubble Breaker mixes up different colours of bubbles and you get more points for connecting colours and popping more bubbles with one tap. The goal is to clear the screen and beat your high score, and it can be a bit of a challenge. The interface is a little cheap looking, but the have-fun-while-popping factor is high.

Price: Free

ilomilo+

ilomilo+ is a fun, whimsical, puzzle game. The Windows 8 app version allows you to use touch controls, a gamepad, or a keyboard. The aim is quite simple, you have to lead two squared creatures, ilo and milo back together. They are trapped in opposite sides of the maze and you alternate between the two characters.

Despite its simplicity it is very fun, as you progress you have to move more blocks, defy gravity, and the levels get more difficult. The land is beautifully animated in 3D and the graphics are vivid. The music and sound effects are soothing and fit well in the game. There is also multiplayer mode, in which you can play with another person.

Price: $4.99

This app contributed by Cindy Ngo

Hyper for YouTube

Hyper for YouTube is a Windows 8 app optimised for tablets. Using this app you can view and download videos. The app has backgrounding functionality we were able to play music videos in the background while using other windows apps.

While playing a video you can right click for more options such as changing the video resolution, adding it to your playlists or favourites, and downloading the video. When downloading, you have various video resolution options as well as the ability to download in mp3.

The design of the app is very nice, Hyper for YouTube uses a tile layout that is optimised for touch. Each video tile has a like bar at the bottom, the green and red representing the number of likes and dislikes.

Hyper for YouTube is free, however you can choose to buy the Hyper Pro Addon for $2.99. You get features such as pinning videos and channels for easy access later, more colour theme options, and batch downloading.

Price: Free

This app contributed by Cindy Ngo

MinimaList

MinimaList is a very simple, basic to-do app. Using this app you can easily create and manage your lists. The app is optimised for touch support, making it easy for tablet users. You swipe right to check an item, swipe right again to uncheck, swiping left will remove the item, double tapping will let you edit the item, and by pressing and holding you can rearrange the items.

To search all your lists and items, you use the charms bar search. You can add multiple items without leaving the keyboard, you just click enter after adding each item.

The design is streamlined, it is clear that the only purpose is to create and manage your lists. Once you add a list, they will show up on the top bar.

Price: Free

This app contributed by Cindy Ngo

Solitaire Collection

A Windows machine without Solitaire simply shouldn't be. For Windows 8-based tablets, we like the Solitaire Collection. It has games in it such as TriPeaks and Pyramid, which are more fun than the standard Solitaire layout.

Price: Free

StumbleUpon

For the times when you're not sure what you want to be looking at online, StumbleUpon comes in very handy. Pick the topics you're interested, and then tap the Stumble button to get to random Web pages as chosen by the StumbleUpon engine. Use the thumbs-up or thumbps-down icons to line and dislike content so that it becomes more tailored to your tastes. The interface could be a little better (we wish it incorporated swipes rather than a button for stumbling), but it's still a fun app to use.

Price: Free

Flightaware

Those of you who are into planes might enjoy this app, which allows you to track the plane movements from your home airport, or any airport abroad. You can just fire up the map and look at what's happening, or you can choose to track a specific flight.

Price: Free

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