Microsoft unveiled a nice surprise at its 2014 build conference: the third major upgrade to the Windows Store! Windows Store was introduced on Windows 8.0 as a software distribution platform. It received a major upgrade that drastically improved its usability with the launch of Windows 8.1. However, Microsoft still didn’t go far enough to make the browsing the Store a pleasant experience as it is in competing platforms. Although there were minor UI enhancements since the launch of Windows 8.1, the third upgrade to the Store truly brings it on par with the app stores of iOS and Android. I am very excited for this and I hope you are too. So let’s see what’s new! Continue reading
I know App count has lost its meaning, still we at McAkins Online feel we should inform you folks that indeed Windows Store has passed the 150000 Apps mark. Really I don’t know whether to cry or to rejoice as I don’t see the real meaning of bloggers beating the app count to death resulting in the OS Publishers allowing junk apps in the Store just to belong to the number success group. If I may have my take I’ll say let Windows Store have just 5000 App that are highly polished and worth users’ time than having to prune the Windows Store just to find App needle in a haystack. Continue reading
Here it is, the much-anticipated App from Nokia is finally in the Windows Store. Those of you that use Windows Phone of course will know this app. It is Nokia way to make Apps Discovery much less of a pain. Who’s best to recommend you Apps? Right, your friends. Suppose there is a way to know which apps your friends friends are running right? Yes, now you have it. The more people that use it, the more usable the app gets. So go download it right now.
Here is the description from the Store:
App Social: Discover, browse and share amazing apps both for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
- Browse & Download apps recommended by App Social most popular users
- Sign up create your own profile and your own list of apps to share with your friends and the whole community
- Get followers and climb up the leaderboard
- Search for apps, applists and even users to save time
- All both for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps to enjoy an amazing companionship experience
- Get App Social on Windows Phone 8 from www.appsocial.nokia.com
You can download the app now in the Store from the following Source Link.
Source: Windows Store
Microsoft is adding easier billing methods in Developing Countries where Creditcard usage is much less than the Western world. It has always been a problem for users in these countries like Mexico, Indonesia etc to buy Apps in the Store. Most of them just use the Freemium apps and Devs are compensated via ADs revenue. But this is not always a good plan for some apps, therefore this new initiative from Microsoft will go a long way. Now users can get billed via their telephone service providers when they buy an App. Here is the full statement below: Continue reading
Via @WinObs and @Surfacegeeks the news reached us a few minutes ago, that the much anticipated Project Siena is rearing its head in the Store. You ask what is this all about? It is Microsoft’s take on popular App designer sites like Ideanotion’s “IdeaPress”. Where you can just put some few modules together and voila you have a Windows 8 App! No code, no night after nights of learning a GUI layout principles. Just like Lego, you take all individual parts, stitch them together, add some data component at the background and you have a fully functioning Windows 8 app. Continue reading
With the introduction of Windows Store gift cards, you can now put money in your Microsoft account balance and use it to get paid apps in games in Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, or the Xbox Store. Well, did you know that Microsoft is giving everyone FREE gift cards? It’s True! All you have to do is use Bing search!
Every time you search on Bing, you will get points. These points rack up, and you can use them to get gift cards that you can use to get paid apps and games from the Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, and Xbox Store (both for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One). You will see various gift cards. But the good news is that redeeming these gift cards puts money in your Microsoft Account that you can use to get apps and games from any and all stores. For example, if you get a Windows Phone gift card, you can use that card for Windows Phone apps or even Xbox One Games. Conversely, you can use your Xbox Gift Card to buy Windows 8 apps! You can also mix and match.
You have to first enable Bing Rewards. Once you do, you will start earning points for searching. If you are a new user, you can do some starter quests to get lots of points quickly.
Please note: If you click the link to bing rewards above, I may get a one-time bonous of some bing points. This post is NOT an advertisement of any sort.
Yesterday we broke the news about Microsoft now making the Windows Store Searchable from the web, today we are glad to announce that the Windows 8.1 themed Webstore has gone live. The former web access in the Win8.0 timeframe only gives you limited information and the experience was limited. Now you have a web access that is full, rich and informative. It is on-par with the MX Store App.
Please note that this is not the full Store experience. You can’t purchase apps from the webstore, and you can’t just open this web access, you have to approach it via an App link. For example after searching for an app like we showed you yesterday, clicking on any of the apps will bring you to this new Webstore. For example, seaching for and clicking on WebAccess App brings you to this new web store.
Well Microsoft is on the roll lately on all front, so this comes as no surprise. Which company is most innovative right now? Yes, you guessed it right. Go Microsoft!
Unfortunately, Microsoft has pulled the site, so there is no way for you to verify we broke this story. Luckily I have the full screenshot in IE MX shown below. Hopefully the new WebStore will be back. We are keeping an eye on this for you as usual.
I have been planning to write an extensive post about the quality of the Windows Store, but providence will not allow time to really dive deep into it. Maybe I will have time in the future to make a complete compilation. But coming across this app in the Store today really broke the Carmel’s back for me. The app was released yesterday, it is already causing users confusion in the Store! This is a blatant abuse of Microsoft Trademarks in all aspect, and an encroachment on Microsoft’s own turf. You can imagine my jaw dropping to the ground seeing this in the Store. Someone from Microsoft have to have approved this in the Store, or not? My question then is, is there anyone at Microsoft actually policing the Store? Is there any policy still being upheld in the Store at the moment?
Those of us Windows users spending a great deal of time in the Store are simply baffled by the kinds of apps we come across in the Store. It looked as if MS has abandoned the Store and relegated the Store accreditation to Machine AIs or something. No one in their right mind will let the kind of apps we see in the Store go through, even after 5 bottles of Beer! I am talking of apps that clearly encroach on Trademarked products. Apps that call themselves Facebook, with the trademarked logo thrown in. Apps that are so Fugly Steve Jobs would weep in his graves seeing MS murder a concept he made popular. I mean Apps with Logo’s that reek of stupidity and incompetence, Color themes that are not readable to users, like black fonts on a very dark background, totally opaque to any sane person. Apps that looked like they were created by monkeys in a zoo. Apps that clearly no one will touch with a 100m pole.
What is the point of Microsoft allowing these kinds of apps in the Store? Is it for the numbers? It will turn to bite MS in the long run, and people will take a look at the Store and conclude MS Store is crap compared to competing platform and move on. This is not competing with established Mobile Store leaders Microsoft. This is not the promise you made us when you were talking about the design principles of Metro. Your keyword: Beautiful is nowhere to be found in some of these apps.
Take for example the Media Player Classic Home Cinema app, when I twitted some time back above, the app then cost $10.00 in the Store. Ten bucks for an app you cannot preview, nor test-run. No Screenshots, just the splashscreen. You are asking the users to trust you with their money and shell out their hard-earned dollars for something they can’t see. That’s a tough sell. Thank God, not a single soul has touched the app, so the Dev is now forced to drop the price to $5.00. Still a steep price for an app you have to buy in pure faith alone. It should be policy in the Store that any app that doesn’t allow Trials should have at least lots of Screenshots of the actual app so the users have an idea of what they are getting.
I can go on and on with what is wrong with the Store, but today is not the day for it. I am sure MS is aware of all these problems, the question is are they doing anything about it to keep their promise of fixing Windows 8 by the Windows Blue timeframe. Like the saying goes Microsoft, when you’re riding a Tiger, you can’t afford to make any mistake, like getting off for example. So to keep riding this Tiger, please fix everything that is wrong with Windows 8, including the Windows Store. Prune this Garden, it is now full of weeds. Weeds that are preventing your true lovers from seeing the awesome apps in the Store. Like we’ve all agreed for the Windows Platform, the Store should not be about App Count, but the quality of Apps therein. We would rather have a thousand Killer apps in the Store than a million junk Apps no one appreciates. Fix the Store MS, we know you can do it!
Learn how to find web URLs for Windows Store apps in the Windows Store! Song by Mahir Zain
Wow! An awesome update just dropped in the Store for AppSwitch. For those of you that doesn’t know, AppSwith is the app to make you switching to Microsoft platform from competing platforms as painless as possible. the App suggests easy replacements for your dearly beloved Apps on iOS and Android platforms. Have you already switched, and you’ve found some awesome replacement in the Store, you can also suggest in this current version to app developers.
This update includes GUI improvements to make features easily accessible. Visual cues everywhere to aid discoverability. In-app Store, better Snapped View support, better Search Charm support etc etc. The improvements are just too much to mention here. What’s more, the app is still free despite these awesomeness but you need to bear with non-intrusive Ads of course.
Help to make this app greater by suggesting your discovery to the Devs.
Download now in the store via the source link below.
Source: Windows Store
As most of you know we were keeping track of Apps Count in the Metro Store here on McAkins Online, but then the number of Apps got to a point in which it is humanly impossible to track, at which point we decided to stop. Well we are glad some genius Devs have taken over the baton and continue with the Store Stats. AppSoft brings you by the way of this AppCounter App the latest Store Stats refreshed once a day. They provided a Tile that shows you latest info at a glance. We are glad for their effort and we encourage you to go ahead and download this app and keep track of the Store with us.
Here the excerpts from the Store:
Did you always want to keep up with the progress of the Windows Store? Do you want to have info about the total number of apps on your start screen? Are you interested to see more statistics on the number of new/updated apps per day?
This app tries to provide you the most recent numbers.
Currently the data on the Windows Store is refreshed once a day.
Overview presenting the total number of apps and the number of new apps per day for the last 30 days.
Chart presenting the stats for recent days.
Live tile providing info about total number of apps, new/updated apps.
Line chart – toal apps
Bar chart – app categories
Bar chart – countries (with highest number of apps)
Number of free apps
Download the app now FoC via the following link:
Source: Windows Store
Now, here is a Gem from the Windows Store, a nicely designed app, dedicated to your Windows Phone app discoverability. You might not think this is a big deal, but it is, since you can only surf Windows Phone Store via the Web Browser. Microsoft attempted to highlight Windows Phone Apps is their Sync App, but that is a limited feature, the moment you want more, you’re dropped into the Browser. The Markteplace on Windows Phone itself doesn’t lend itself to discoverability on such a small screen, and as you know, nothing says “Click Me” better like a App-logos on the glorious panorama of a Metro App. So, here it is. Beautifully crafted by CiunKos. This App gives you ability to browse by Category and zero in on Best Rated Apps. You can also easily find New and Up-and-Coming hero apps. You are greeted by starting the App with the Spotlight page shown above, in which the best apps in the Store are showcased.
Here is quoting the Dev himself from the Store:
Download apps and games for your Windows Phone right from your tablet or PC! Windows Store like interface now connects you to your phone. Download the best Windows Phone apps with this beautifuly designed app.
Download apps and games right from your tablet or PC.
Use Search to quickly find apps!
Browse app categories to find apps you will love.
Browse reviews to check if app is good for you.
Browse screenshots to see if app looks cool!
We Windows Phone users welcome this beautiful addition to the Store. Nicely done indeed. We wonder if MS should not buy this app off right away, or just hire the guy. Download the App right away via the Source link below, its free as the air; for now.
Source: Windows Store
A long while back I ran treatise on an App that debuted in the Store that allows Switchers from other Mobile OSes to feel at home on Windows 8. Since then AppSwitch has grown to become the first app a Switcher should download on moving to Windows 8. There has been improvements to the app down the line, and recently the Publisher has released an extensive update to the app in terms of UI improvements and database updates. You can now easily find any apps you were hooked on in iOS and Android on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. There are columns presenting the topmost apps, the “Top 50 Apps” like Microsoft like to call them. View top rated, view Reviews, Search by Category etc. I believe Microsoft should have done something like this actually with the release of their Mobile OSes, but we are glad an independent Vendor has taken up this challenge. Here are the updated features and screenshots from the Store:
If you’ve recently moved to Windows 8 but can’t find your favorite apps, then use AppSwitch to find Windows 8 replacements for all of your favorite Google Android and Apple iOS apps!
Just type in the name of an Android/Apple app, browse a list of replacement apps (without having to leave AppSwitch) and download the one you think is the best fit for you.
Also browse latest, popular and top rated matches, add favorites, rate matches to help other users and share your discoveries in a fluid and functional app.
Don’t worry if the exact app isn’t available! You might find an even better one!
App discovery just got easy.
If you have any feedback, good or bad, then please email us:
Find us on Twitter:
Find Windows 8 apps that similar to apps on iOS and Android
Search the Windows/Apple/Google app stores
Browse latest, popular and top rated matches
This is the app that will make your switchover to Microsoft’s platform less of a pain trust me. You need to go get the app right now if you a new Windows 8 user coming from Apple or Google’s platforms; what’s more, it’s free for what I can see for now. Download now via the source link below.
Source: Windows Store
Happy holidays! We have some sales form the Windows Store, and, in many cases, freebies! The deals are easily highlighted on the “Spotlight” section of the Windows Store. As of this writing, there are six deals; however, this applies only to the US version of Windows Store. If you live outside the US and your country is offering some sort of deal, let us know and we will blog about it. Continue reading
It’s inception all over again, and this time, it invaded the Windows Store. We now have an app for Windows Store that might as well act as a second Windows Store. Yes, you heard it right. Meet the “Great Windows Apps” app. This app will filter out the junk from the Windows Store and present you with the apps that truly stand out and are worth your time, and bandwidth.
If you, like us, regularly check the Windows Store for what’s new and exciting, you might notice it’s hard to do with the massive amount of junk we have coming in. So, try this little app to help you discover great app. The sad truth is that this is what we had expected out of Microsoft in the first place. Windows Store should be sufficient to find great apps, but it is not. This app will do that job.
DescriptionGreat Windows Apps is a directory that is focused on quality and empowers you to discover great apps.
Windows 8 is beautiful. Microsoft have created an operating system designed for the future and it really looks great, particularly when you use it on modern, touch-driven hardware. This great OS needs great apps!
This alternative store implements strict quality rules to feature only the finest apps. Reviews and ratings from around the world are combined and apps that are poorly rated, or don’t meet basic eligibility criteria, are not included in our listings.
Great Windows Apps also aims to improve visibility for apps in a number of other ways.
Much mystery surrounds the way that Microsoft pick apps for their spotlight slots, and even which ones are featured as “new releases” and “top rated” apps, when the apps that are listed in those sections do not actually appear to be related to their release date, nor their rating.
This app generates true new releases and true top rated listings, to allow users to discover the apps they want, rather than being spoon-fed a handful of selected apps by the Windows Store.
We also spotlight the top developers and always allow you to see “more apps by this developer”, when you discover an application that you like.
- Super fast browse and search
- Completely free with no ads
- True “Top Rated” and “New Releases” sections
- View more apps by a developer
- Discover as yet unseen apps
- See reviews from around the world
Source: Windows Store