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29 best Windows 8.1 apps

Posted on 21 Nov 2013 at 15:11

We run through the 29 best Windows 8.1 apps to arrive on Microsoft's platform since its October launch

Whether you've got your mitts on the Microsoft Surface or a 20in all-in-one, you'll want some pointers to the best Windows 8.1 apps.

That's where we come in. We've trawled a store that isn't the best at surfacing good content, and rounded up a selection of apps that you should download.

Great British Chefs

Great British Chefs

A forceful poke in the eye to anyone who says Windows 8 apps are unattractive, the Great British Chefs app looks as appetising as the dishes it will help you to cook. A compendium of recipes from culinary luminaries such as Marcus Wareing, Nathan Outlaw and Tom Aikens, the app provides a wide selection of dishes for cooks of all abilities. Once you’ve selected your chosen dish(es), the combined ingredients can be added to the shopping list, which are handily broken down by shopping aisle (i.e. meat, vegetables) and can be exported to email or Evernote.

When you get back from the shops, pop the recipe in Cooking Mode and you can swipe step-by-step through the instructions on your tablet, with a handy timer available on the side of the screen. With a series of interesting food articles, plus video guides to tricky jobs such as extracting the meat from a lobster, you really couldn't ask for any more from a free app. (Free)



A Microsoft Studios game that has migrated from Windows Phone 7, to Xbox Live, and now Windows 8.1, ilomilo+ is a delightful little timewaster that Windows tablets could desperately do with more of. The idea is to reunite ilo and milo - see what they’ve done there? - by navigating the 3D level they’re trapped on opposite sides of. You alternate between controlling both characters, using one to open trapdoors or create paths for the other, until they’re back together. It’s clever, beautifully presented, but perhaps a little too prim for some tastes. A two-player mode adds longevity. (£3.49)



Navigating the morass of news, memes and endless discussion threads that comprise Reddit is no mean feat, but the Redditting client does a brilliant job of boiling it down. It effectively turns Reddit into an RSS reader, allowing you to browse your favourite subreddits, filter out sources or contributors you’d rather not hear from, and read the source article alongside the comments in split-screen. Once you’ve logged in or filled out the simple in-app registration, you can also vote posts up or down, add comments or submit links of your own. A setting that allows you to filter adult content could also make Reddit palatable at your place of work. (Free)

Halo: Spartan Assault

Halo Spartan Assault

Halo is the Xbox’s best-know game franchise, and its less graphically ambitious transition to tablets and smartphones is nonetheless a success. It has everything you associate with Halo: a variety of futuristic weaponry to choose from, vehicles to commandeer and an intelligence-free pack of comrades who repeatedly need you to dig them out of a firefight.

The top-down approach is unusual for Halo, but works well, as do the touchscreen controls. Attempting to fleece you for in-app purchases after paying a fiver for the game is a touch gratuitous, but they’re not necessary. Try the Lite version first. (£4.99)

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User comments


"The iPad app gives access to..."

"Here have been Britannica apps on iOS for... "

"Cocktail apps aren’t rare on iOS and Android..."

When writing an article make sure that you mention the competition a few times :)

Thanks for a Windows 8 article and it is appreciated.

By rhythm on 28 Dec 2012


You talk about LoveFilm as if there is an app for it in Windows 8.

However, unless I'm missing something there isn't!

I wish there were, believe me!

By Grunthos on 28 Dec 2012

Articles intentions

@ Rhythm The article is clearly titled '18 best windows 8 apps,' there is no mention of how they compare, it is merely recommendations. Sick of some of the inane and unnecessarily pedantic comments on here; stop looking for criticism where there is none to be had! PC Pro can't be that bad if you keep coming back for more

By eliot94 on 29 Dec 2012

For Film you can use #ANDATUBE

Hi Grunthos,

If you want to watch or listening music from #youtube videos, you can use #ANDATUBE

By yoes98 on 1 Jan 2013

18 best Windows 8 apps... oh dear.

Well, this really go's to show what a load of old garbage is out there as far as business/productivity is concerned(including Windows 8 itself).

A selection of games (irrelevent), video and media consumption (irrelevant), growth chart for your kids (marginally less irrelevant), encycolpedia app's... hmm, OK, give you those (maybe) and Skype - although for the "Win8 app" (not desktop version), I think you need a Microsoft account, I found no obvious way to make it work with my actual Skype account.

The education one seemd interesting, will give that a look (thanks).

Early days I suppose, but the OS is still a complete no-hoper for standard business machines and the apps are mostly irrelevant/pointless.

Yawn. If this is the shape of things to come, my next computer will be a MacBook Pro.

By PaulDGodden on 3 Jan 2013


You should really try TuneIn - radio from around the world - from Radio 1 and Capital to the NYPD dispatchers, and it runs in the background!

By paulsk on 11 Jan 2013

rtRemote for iTunes

Can't help but recommend rtRemote for iTunes ... It's an app that let's you control iTunes from the new Windows 8 touch interface. Much like the Remote app for iPhone/ iPad but runs in win 8 on pro and rt. very slick and let's me use iTunes on my Surface to play movies on my Apple at tv ... And... It's free!!

By JoeBarnes on 25 Jan 2013

Paul's Skype problem.

Um... Just sign in with your normal skype account login and it works fine. Maybe you somehow created a new account? Just sign out and sign in with your normal login. Just click on the icon near the top right hand corner to sign out.

By shmaun on 9 Mar 2013


Armed isn't a real-time strategy. It's turn-based. So it is only 'in the ilk' of Starcraft in that it fits in the wider strategy genre.

By nollie on 22 Mar 2013

Twitter app for windows 8

check out the new twitter app for Windows 8

By mooneyes81 on 23 Mar 2013

Twitter app for windows 8

check out the new twitter app for Windows 8

By mooneyes81 on 23 Mar 2013

the best news App

BBC Mobile by Lawrence Gripper.
Well it was until the beeb had it removed, with no intention of providing there own. Scandalous

By nickallison on 8 Apr 2013

"great for multitasking"

The Toolbox app sounds amazing! "Different apps can run in each window, so it’s great for multitasking", that's like the future. Imagine being able to run programs side by side! Windows 8 you're Amazing!

By ChrisH on 15 May 2013

BetFlock app

The app you may find interesting:

The idea of the app is to make a time killer out of live soccer betting. In other words, imagine that you have a bunch of sport games before your eyes and you need to quickly make predictions. If you are correct, you get points. The game encourages multiplayer abilities and supports these fun scenarios:

* King of the hill
* Complete missions for objectives
* Duels
* Team against team (coming soon)

It is completely free, and more to say - the best players can compete for money prizes.

By Dmitry on 9 Jul 2013

Sales presentation app for Windows 8

Sellrunner ( helps to create engaging, mobile-ready branded materials to enlarge the reach and increase the results of the sales reps lead generation, social media performance and sales enablement.

By KateChu on 15 Oct 2013

upgrade win 7 to win 8.1

first you need to upgrade to windows 8 from win 7, then you can get the free upgrade to win8.1

you can buy a windows 8 upgrade on

By getsoftwarekey on 23 Nov 2013

Ministry of Sound app

The ministry of sound app is not on the app store at least not for windows 8 and 8.1. Can't even find it on their website.

By storm311 on 29 Nov 2013

Touch Games on Windows 8

I would like to suggest GestureWorks Gameplay.

You can build and share your own virtual touch controllers for popular games. It works with hundreds of PC games.

By jelvis on 11 Dec 2013

This is sad

If these are the 29 *best* Modern UI apps then it's in a hell of a lot more trouble than I thought. Windows Phone's "killer feature" is some word game? Seriously? TuneIn Radio was the worst app I've used in a long time. Can't login to your account, can't even search for a station! Stick to the website or the mobile app. Same with Skype, the Modern UI iteration is terrible. ESPN FC is the only app on this list that I agree is a good app. Stick to your desktop and web interfaces. So much nicer than most of the rubbish in the Windows Store.

By elcasey on 23 Feb 2014

I like this app:

By goc5x on 25 Feb 2014

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