The 6 Best Windows 10 Apps for 2021

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

The Microsoft Store app store is loaded with hidden gems that can enhance the functionality of your computer. Some apps may even change the way you think about Windows 10 in general.

Here are six Windows 10 apps that more people should be using in 2021.

01
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Dolby Access

Dolby Access in the Microsoft Store
What We Like
  • Enables Dolby Atmos on home theater speaker systems for free.

  • Superior digital sound.

  • Takes gaming to another level.

What We Don't Like
  • In-app purchase required to use with headphones.

  • Problematic with some headphones.

  • Can be glitchy.

Dolby Access for Epic Surround Sound 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 with Windows 10 in addition to Xbox One video game consoles.

02
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Microsoft To Do

Microsoft To Do in Microsoft Store
What We Like
  • Connects to Microsoft Account.

  • All changes are automatically saved to the cloud and synced.

  • Integrates with Microsoft apps, such as Outlook.

What We Don't Like
  • Could lose track of items that are automatically moved down the list.

  • No print feature.

  • Limited sort features.

Microsoft To-Do launched in 2017. The app works as a streamlined list service for shopping, calendars, reminders, and other items, incorporating location data and dates.

It is the replacement for Wunderlist, and it integrates with Microsoft Outlook if you sync with a Microsoft Account.

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

03
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Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook on Windows 10

Autodesk

What We Like
  • Includes illustrated and video tutorials.

  • Export sketch sessions as time-lapsed videos.

  • Easy to use.

What We Don't Like
  • Surface Pen required.

  • Crashes for some users.

  • No fill tool.

Autodesk SketchBook is a powerful app for beginner and professional artists that transforms Windows 10 touchscreen devices—like the Microsoft Surface line of computers—into digital canvases.

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

04
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Instagram

Instagram app in Microsoft Store
What We Like
  • Makes Instagram Stories a more engaging experience.

  • Alternative Instagram stream viewer.

  • Search tags, like, and comment.

What We Don't Like
  • Touch-based navigation design.

  • Frequent updates required.

  • No right-click support.

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

This free Instagram app receives notifications about new Instagram messages directly within the Windows 10 Action Center. The app's Live Tile feature displays the profile images of people who comment 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 is that it makes watching Instagram Stories a 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 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.

05
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Nextgen Reader

Nextgen reader
What We Like
  • Low cost.

  • Solid solution that integrates with Feedly.

What We Don't Like
  • Hard-limit of 10,000 total articles at any time.

  • Default article view doesn't always highlight image-heavy content well.

Originally launched in 2011, the Nextgen Reader offers great syndicated reading through Really Simple Syndication. Use it to sync your Feedly list or build your own curated list of RSS links. The program moves quickly and uses a well-established, responsive three-pane reading environment.

06
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Netflix

Netflix
What We Like
  • Free app, frequently optimized.

  • Great design for touch and mouse interactivity.

  • Netflix has maintained this app since 2010.

What We Don't Like
  • App content (but not the movies) sometimes display oddly in atypical window sizes.

Netflix proved to be an early adopter for the Windows 8 ecosystem, launching its app in 2010. The company fine-tuned the app for more than a decade, making this Windows Store app an improvement over watching Netflix in a browser window.

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