The 6 Best Windows 10 Apps for 2018

You need to do more with your PC than compose emails and view spreadsheets

Man wearing a shirt and tie giving a thumbs up while sitting at his Windows 10 computer
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Blend Images

There's nothing wrong with using good ol' Microsoft Word and Outlook on a daily basis but your Windows 10 device can do way much more than sending emails and writing docs.

The Microsoft Store app store is loaded with hidden gems that can not only add more functionality to your computer but might even change the way you think about using Windows 10 in general.

Here are six Windows 10 apps that more people should be using in 2018.

01
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Dolby Access for Epic Surround Sound

Woman listening to computer with headphones

Peathegee Inc / Blend Images

What We Like

  • Dolby Access for Epic Surround Sound enables Dolby Atmos on home theater speaker systems for free.

What We Don't Like

  • Those wanting Dolby Atmos-enabled when using their headphones will need to pay extra via an in-app purchase.

Dolby Access for Epic Surround Sound is an app that enables Dolby Atmos on Windows 10 devices and also on Xbox One video game consoles.

Dolby Access uses spatial audio to create extra depth and atmosphere. This new audio technology is supported by many shows and movies on Netflix as well as newer Blu-ray and digital releases. Dolby Atmos can also enhance some major video game releases like Assassin's Creed: Origins and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Dolby Access works on computers or tablets running Windows 10 in addition to Xbox One video game consoles.

02
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To-Do for Making Lists

Microsoft To-Do Windows 10 app

 Microsoft

What We Like

  • Microsoft To-Do connects to the user's Microsoft account which allows all changes made to be automatically saved to the cloud and synced with other versions of the app on iPhone and Android smartphones.

What We Don't Like

  • The streamlined design of Microsoft To-Do ironically makes the app a bit hard to manage at times. It can be easy to lose track of items if you forget to open the app for a day or two and they're automatically moved down the list.

Microsoft To-Do is an app that the company launched in 2017. The app works as a very streamlined list app that can be used to create basic shopping lists or more advanced plans that incorporate location data and dates.

Microsoft To-Do works on Windows 10 PCs and tablets as well as Windows phones running Windows 10 Mobile.

03
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Bitcoin Miner for Making Money

Cartoon image of a man mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrency

 sorbetto / DigitalVision Vectors

What We Like

  • Bitcoin Miner is free and makes mining Bitcoin ridiculously easy for anyone with a Windows 10 PC or tablet. No knowledge of Bitcoin or blockchain technology is required.

What We Don't Like

  • Bitcoin Miner runs on all Windows 10 devices however the technology behind Bitcoin mining does mean that those with cheap, lower-end computers won't be earning as much as those who own powerful gaming PCs. Earnings will vary greatly.

Bitcoin mining is becoming more and more popular but for most people the entire concept is way too confusing and intimidating.

Bitcoin Miner streamlines the process enormously with an easy-to-understand app that's free to install and only requires the user to press the big button that says START. It couldn't be any easier if it tried.

Bitcoin Miner works on Windows 10 PCs and tablets and Windows 10 Mobile Windows phones.

04
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Autodesk Sketchbook for the Budding Artist

Autodesk Sketchbook on Windows 10

 Autodesk

What We Like

  • The developers behind Autodesk SketchBook really want their users to make the best of all of the app's features and have created a massive number of illustrated and video tutorials that can help educate you on how to draw and paint almost everything imaginable with the tools available. 

What We Don't Like

  • This is a fantastic app for those that already own a Surface Pen but since that accessory is no longer being bundled with Surface Pro computers, there will be quite a few users who will have to buy one before they can use Autodesk SketchBook.

Autodesk SketchBook is a powerful app for beginner and professional artists that transforms their Windows 10 touchscreen device, like Microsoft's Surface line of computers, into a digital canvas.

Autodesk SketchBook boasts over 140 different types of digital brushes, a user interface that's designed for the native stylus and touch experience, and a ridiculous amount of color and effect options. When it comes to this app, you really are only limited by your own imagination.

Autodesk Sketchbook runs on Windows 10 PCs and tablets.

05
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Crypto Chart for Tracking Your Cryptocoins

Asian man in glasses with a laptop, trading cryptocurrencies

 primeimages / E+

What We Like

  • Crypto Chart supports Windows 10's Live Tile feature which means that when you pin the app to your Start Menu, it will display the prices of your chosen cryptocurrencies directly on the app's tile. You don't even need to open the app to check your daily prices.

What We Don't Like

  • While some of the websites in the news feed are a great source of crypto news quite a few are unfortunately quite unreliable and feature a significant amount of promotional material. Thankfully, specific sites can be removed from the feed in the settings but the user will need to know what to look out for and most people who are new to Bitcoin and crypto won't.

Cryptocurrency adoption is increasing but there's still far few ways to keep track of crypto portfolios, trades, and transactions.

Crypto Chart aims to solve this problem by being the first Windows 10 app that can perform all of these functions and more.

Crypto Chart allows users to track the prices of literally hundreds of cryptocoins and supports a customizable portfolio feature that sorts funds by currency and can even track specific values by transaction dates. The app also supports custom alerts for when a cryptocoin's price jumps or drops and a special news feed collects all of the breaking Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news from a variety of websites all on one page.

Crypto Chart runs on Windows 10 PCs and tablets, Windows phones running Windows 10 Mobile, and Xbox One consoles.

06
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Instagram for Big Screen Stories

Instagram app on Windows 10

Hoxton/Justin Pumfrey

What We Like

  • The Windows 10 Instagram app makes Instagram Stories a much more engaging experience for individuals and groups.

What We Don't Like

  • Those using the app on a Windows 10 devices without a touchscreen may be frustrated by the obvious touch-based navigation design. The app is still usable with a mouse though.

Odds are that you already have Instagram installed on your smartphone but did you know that there's also an Instagram for Windows 10 PCs and tablets?

This free official Instagram app allows users to receive notifications about new Instagram messages directly within the Windows 10 Action Center and the app's Live Tile feature will display the profile images of people who have commented on your photos when pinned to your Start Menu or Start Screen.

By far the best perk of having Instagram on your Windows 10 device though is that it makes watching Instagram Stories a more powerful viewing experience. With the bigger screen size, watching your Instagram Stories feed feels more akin to watching YouTube videos. It's now easier to let the app play through all the latest Stories while cooking in the kitchen or working out. Your hands are now completely free when viewing them, unlike when using Instagram on mobile.

Instagram works on Windows 10 tablets and PCs and Windows 10 Mobile Windows phones.