We have all heard about the infamous “app gap” problem on Windows. There are big name apps that are clearly missing, or not on par with the iOS and Android version. But at the same time there are as many that are available and as good, if not better, and there’s a sizeable indie app and game ecosystem that has a hard time being discovered.
This is what AppRaisin is for – helping you uncover the news about the best hidden gems on the platform (as well as well-known apps) and helping developers get their great apps and games discovered.
In addition to providing you with fresh news inside the app, we’ve decided to assemble an editorial collection of most notable news we have seen on the platform. This first monthly edition is done post-factum. So, some of the gems might have escaped our attention. We will try to compile the list for upcoming months “as we go”, to make sure that all the most interesting and important news are included.
The news items below are grouped in logical categories. Enjoy the great Windows apps that were active last month.
Messaging is one of the hottest categories in mobile right now and there was quite some movement in the area on Windows as well.
WhatsApp Beta was constantly updated while the name was changed to just WhatsApp. So it’s now quite hard to distinguish between the release version and the beta. Still, it is worth trying if you want to be on the bleeding edge of WhatsApp development. (Mobile only)
In case you are more into enterprise chat, check out the actively developed beta for Slack. (Mobile only)
More into video messaging? Glide – Video Chat Messenger was just released on Windows. Take it for a spin. (Mobile only)
When someone says “app gap” the first app that comes to mind is “Snapchat”. While we don’t have high hopes that it will be around for long, give Specter (a 3rd party Snapchat client) a try. It is reported to be pretty basic and raw, but, if you absolutely need to have Snapchat on Windows, that’s what you get. (Desktop and Mobile).
Travel and weather
While built-in Maps app is adequate, many of us miss HERE Maps on our new shiny Windows 10 Mobile phones. While the version you find in the store declares that it’s incompatible, there’s another one that installs on the new Lumias just fine. We’ve seen a few stability issues with it, but overall it’s the familiar experience we like. (Mobile only)
Traveling by air? Check out Airport Guides with terminal maps for 70+ airports. It’s not the best looking app, but could be really useful. (Desktop and Mobile)
On a prettier side you should definitely download App in the Air – your “personal flight concierge”. (Desktop and Mobile).
Care about the weather at your destination or your home town? Perfect Weather Universal is a beautiful and innovative weather app for Windows 10. (Desktop and Mobile).
Note taking and sketching
Microsoft was on a roll in February, releasing not one but two new note taking apps (in addition to updates for OneNote). The first one is a Microsoft Garage project called InstaNote. It’s a cool app that lets you record audio notes after you’ve heard something important and then transcribe it to text. (Desktop and Mobile)
In case you’re are more into taking notes and sketching with stylus, you will definitely enjoy Plumbago. This Microsoft Garage app features handwriting smoothing, realistic ink and more. (Desktop only)
Wacom has a sketching Windows app too. Bamboo Paper promises to transform your Windows tablet into a paper notebook. (Desktop only)
Let’s wrap the note taking section with a great innovative app that integrates your notes directly into the Action Center on Windows 10. Try Action Note to see for yourself. (Desktop and Mobile)
We promise to pay closer attention to games next month. For now check out Evo Explores. The game would probably remind you of some other well-known game (wink, wink), but is still a well-done way to spend some time bending your mind. (Desktop and Mobile)
News, Tools and more
Windows Central has finally released their new universal app and it’s great. A must-have for all Windows enthusiasts. (Desktop and Mobile)
There are several third party DeviantArt apps on Windows, but the one that made waves on AppRaisin last month is called Artage. It’s a good looking universal app for good looking content. Try it! (Desktop and Mobile)
Like to cook? Yummly is a nice universal recipe app. Check it out for some yummy dishes. (Desktop and Mobile)
There was a lot of excitement in the AppRaisin comments about AnTuTu Benchmark v6 coming to Windows. The app got mixed reviews in the Store, but I guess it is important. (Mobile only)
Another tool that got a lot of attention is Bluetooth Beacon Interactor. As the name implies, it helps interact with Google’s Eddystone beacons as well as shows some basic info about Apple’s iBeacon. (Desktop and Mobile)
That’s it for the first installment of the new and rising apps. We will bring you more next month. But, obviously, the best way to discover new, best and rising apps for Windows is to download AppRaisin today.