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Nov 6 / James Marshall

My Top 5 Windows RT Apps

Yesterday I wrote about my first week with my Surface RT but one thing I didn’t cover was some of the apps I’ve come to love in my first week so here’s a run-down of my top 5 (in no particular order!).

My Top 5 Windows RT Apps

  1. Lync


I work at Microsoft, and I conduct all of my real-time communication using Microsoft Lync so it’s no surprise that this is one of my favourite apps. Voice calls, instant messaging, sharing content, running webcasts, it’s all done through Lync. When I’m not at my PC my mobile phone will happily keep me connected using the Lync client for Windows Phone, but the modern app that is available in the Microsoft Store means I can be connected on my Surface, too! I can take full advantage of the snap feature to keep a Lync conversation or call open while taking notes and I can use the front and rear-facing cameras if I need to use video in my meetings.

  1. Netflix

I’ve been a Netflix subscriber for almost a year now and I LOVE using it on my Xbox 360, laptop and Windows Phone so I was really excited to see what the app for Windows RT was going to be like and I wasn’t disappointed. I can sign in with my Netflix account and pick up watching programs where I’d left them on other devices. The experience is smooth and is really easy to pick up. The speakers on the Surface RT are ok for most things, but I hook up to my Jambox if I want it a bit louder! (I guess I could also use headphones…) If only there were apps for other providers like LoveFILM!


  1. I’m a really casual gamer. I can’t remember the last time I sat and played a game from end to end. Instead I like to dip in and out of things depending on the mood I’m in. On my Xbox 360 this usually means that I have about 10 games on the go but on the phone I like playing Wordament. On Windows RT it has the same look and feel and is, in my opinion, even better on the bigger and brighter screen. I’m still never going to be number 1 but at least I can see how badly I did in 16:9!

  2. OneNote

In the same category as Lync, I use OneNote to make notes on my customers, projects and even my Christmas list! I use SkyDrive for my personal notes, and SkyDrive Pro for my work ones and both can be synchronised with both the included OneNote 2013 desktop app, and the OneNote modern app. Now it doesn’t matter where I am or which device I’m using, I can access my notes from anywhere using the apps for the desktop, tablet and phone. It also frees me up from dragging my laptop around to meetings – I can just grab my Surface and go. I can’t wait to get my Touch Cover for Christmas as I think note-taking will be taken to the next level by the physical keyboard.

  1. Skype


I almost didn’t include this in my Top 5 as it is similar to Lync, but for keeping in touch with my friends and family. The app is fantastic. Really quick and responsive as well as pretty and easy to use. Video conversations using either the front or rear facing cameras are easy to set up and, like Lync, I can snap a conversation to the side of the screen whilst working. I’ve been using Skype for years but have never really thought of it as being central to keeping in touch with people, instead favouring MSN Messenger
Windows Live Messenger Messenger, Facebook and email but that is quickly changing.

So there you have it, my top 5 apps so far. A special mention should go to the Office 2013 client that is bundled with Windows as the Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint apps are really useful but if you buy a Surface you’ll have them already!

Which apps have you found useful?

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