[Win8 users] What Metro apps do you actually use?

staknhalo

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Windows 8 sucks; yeah, got it. For those of you who are on it, what Metro apps do you actually find yourself using aside from installing, trying out, and never touching again?

Netflix will probably be on most people's list.

For me it's Netflix, My Media Center, ESPN, Daily Show Headlines, and ABC Player. Other than that I'm really just in Chrome all the time; being on a desktop and all.
 

PornoSatan

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Only one I found useful was Weather. All others I find are useless. I tried using Netflix but with ATI's 'legacy' drivers for the 4800 series cards it doesn't get passed buffering a video. If you're on a desktop it's not like you even need to run the Metro Netflix app anyways, just use it via the browser. But since we are talking about the Metro Netflix, the choices a user like me has in Windows 8 is either the default 4800 drivers that comes with 8, in which Netflix works, but has crap acceleration, or the updated ones that break the Metro Netflix compatibility. I chose to drop 8 altogether as the metro apps are useless on a desktop anyways.
 

staknhalo

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Metro Netflix has benefits over browser Netflix. 1080p, Super HD (if your ISP supports it), and 5.1 DD audio. Silverlight/browser based Netflix doesn't support those features.
 

heatlesssun

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Netflix, Kindle, Nook, News, News Bento, ESPN, CNN, Weather, Toolbox for Windows 8, Google, PC Remote, IE 10, Gravity Guy, Angry Birds Space & Star Wars, Spades, Maps, Pradio, People, Mail, Calendar, Push Pod, Finance, Shazam, Reader, WordBook, PowerDVD, Xbox Music (not a great app but I have a music pass so it's a must have for that with touch), LCARS Interface (just a toy app but I'm a Trekkie) and a number of others that I use here and there.

Nothing in the list is a killer app and most have desktop equivalents but I do use Windows 8 tablets and I'm starting to build up enough of a collection of apps that I use to the point that Windows 7 would cause some headaches because doing of in 7 on tablets simply wouldn't work nearly as well. I see Metro apps as simply another tool in the arsenal, especially when I'm on a tablet though I use things like Xbox Music, Netflix, PRadio, Mail, Calendar, etc. on the desktop as well. The full screen nature of the apps really isn't a problem as that's the way I'd use most things anyway on a desktop.
 

staknhalo

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Yeah that's the thing with Metro apps so far I feel: Jack of all trades; master of none. Still waiting on that 'killer' metro app.
 

MrCrispy

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The Big Picture - good overview of news in pictures.
I would use a lot more Metro apps if they didn't have the stupid full screen restriction, which make them unusable on a pc.
 

pxc

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Metro Netflix has benefits over browser Netflix. 1080p, Super HD (if your ISP supports it), and 5.1 DD audio. Silverlight/browser based Netflix doesn't support those features.
lol, if it could only run in windowed mode it would be usable for me. :p
 

heatlesssun

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Yeah that's the thing with Metro apps so far I feel: Jack of all trades; master of none. Still waiting on that 'killer' metro app.

I think the notion of a killer app on any platform is more myth than reality. There really isn't anything that's probably ever going to be more of killer app on any OS than web browsers, that's what people use by far and away more than anything else on tablets and desktops.
 

Climber

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Netflix, ArcGIS, Amazon, Weather, Kindle, Maps, Quick Note, ESPN, Movie Showtime, Audible, Holy Bible, Astronomy Picture of the Day.
 

r3awak3n

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skype?

lol they are just so useless I cant even think about a useful one. TBH I didnt even know about this till about one hour ago and looks like I was not missing much
 

Hagrid

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Netflix, Kindle, Nook, News, News Bento, ESPN, CNN, Weather, Toolbox for Windows 8, Google, PC Remote, IE 10, Gravity Guy, Angry Birds Space & Star Wars, Spades, Maps, Pradio, People, Mail, Calendar, Push Pod, Finance, Shazam, Reader, WordBook, PowerDVD, Xbox Music (not a great app but I have a music pass so it's a must have for that with touch), LCARS Interface (just a toy app but I'm a Trekkie) and a number of others that I use here and there.

Nothing in the list is a killer app and most have desktop equivalents but I do use Windows 8 tablets and I'm starting to build up enough of a collection of apps that I use to the point that Windows 7 would cause some headaches because doing of in 7 on tablets simply wouldn't work nearly as well. I see Metro apps as simply another tool in the arsenal, especially when I'm on a tablet though I use things like Xbox Music, Netflix, PRadio, Mail, Calendar, etc. on the desktop as well. The full screen nature of the apps really isn't a problem as that's the way I'd use most things anyway on a desktop.

Only one that sounds good is the LCARS interface one. ST! :D
 

wonderfield

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I'll use Mail on an as-needed basis. It's not something I like to use, but the basic functionality is there. Hopefully Google changes their position on developing Windows apps and releases a good Gmail client.
 

KENNYB

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desktop.png
 

odditory

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I think the notion of a killer app on any platform is more myth than reality.

I think thats a nice way to rationalize it but ultimately a cop out on MS's part. Due to the fact they're playing catch up with established marketshare leaders it was in MS's best interest to see to it that there was something compelling offered out of the gate, rather than sitting around with a thumb parked waiting for third parties to show up simply because they slapped the word Windows on it. They seem to understand the importance of the killer app notion with their console launches - Halo, Gears of War, etc. but not with their biggest O/S reboot in two decades. If theyve really been developing Metro since 2009 as they say then there's been plenty of time to brainstorm.

If not developing something very compelling and a major selling point inhouse then partnering with an established developer and subsidizing an effort -- either one would've taken them further than blowing hundreds of millions on vague commercials with kids riding skateboards and jumping into waves and doing a lot of clicking and unclicking of plastic keyboards. Or hell, spending half on advertising and the other half working up exclusive content deals or an IPTV offering.

In any case MS has a long tough road ahead because metro store app growth seems stalled at worst and stuck in first gear at best.

NzKzVSK.png
 
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odditory

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I will say Cocktail Flow was amusing for a few days but is really "loud" on a 27" monitor :)

20ne7lb.jpg
 
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heatlesssun

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I think thats a nice way to rationalize it but ultimately a cop out on MS's part. Due to the fact they're playing catch up with established marketshare leaders it was in MS's best interest to see to it that there was something compelling offered out of the gate, rather than sitting around with a thumb parked waiting for third parties to show up simply because they slapped the word Windows on it. They seem to understand the importance of the killer app notion with their console launches - Halo, Gears of War, etc. but not with their biggest O/S reboot ever. If theyve really been developing Metro since 2009 as they say then there's been plenty of time to brainstorm.

If not developing something very compelling and a major selling point inhouse then partnering with an established developer and subsidizing an effort -- either one would've taken them further than blowing hundreds of millions on vague commercials with kids riding skateboards and jumping into waves and doing a lot of clicking and unclicking of plastic keyboards. Or hell, spending half on advertising and the other half working up exclusive content deals or an IPTV offering.

In any case MS has a long tough road ahead because metro store app growth seems stalled at worst and stuck in first gear at best.

I'm not trying to rationalize anything, it's just that people throw around the term killer app and don't usually explain what exactly is a killer app. One that everyone uses? Ok, then that's stuff like Angry Birds, Instagram. Facebook, Twitter etc. Windows 8 certainly needs more apps of this nature, but there's some politics involved with some of these. Facebook if probably very reluctant to develop a Windows 8 app because of concerns of diverting users away from the more profitable web site.

As for the app rate growing more slowly, I've noticed that but I don't have any information that indicated because there's lots fewer submissions. Maybe that's the case but at the same time I've noticed that Microsoft has been slow with publishing its own apps. There was a list of 40 Xbox games that were coming to Windows 8 a few weeks before Windows 8 went general release and most of those games are still MIA. So it looks like things are slowing down for other reasons besides the number of app submissions and I would say that app quality is probably driving at least some of the slow down. There have been widespread issues with app bugs and crashes, and it's pretty obvious that Microsoft was slamming stuff into the store to bump up the app count and I think they're pulling back from that a slowing it down a lot.

I've said from the beginning that this was going to be a rough road but just three months in it's not gone badly, could be better but at this point but it's going to come down to the number of Windows 8 machines there are out there and particularly touch and tablet devices. It's going to be slow growth but it should begin to accelerate as the hardware comes on line and prices being to dip.

I'm not saying anything here that plenty of others aren't saying. It seems to be the most logical course of events. It's not like Microsoft isn't going to stick with Metro and the Windows Store or that not a single more Windows 8 machine won't be sold. So it might take another year for things to get into swing. If things don't pick up by then then sure, call it a failure. But even then Windows 9 is just going to be all Windows 8 is on steroids.
 

Eman D. Rahym

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Speaking of "loud" apps, Music Maker Jam can be a lot of fun.

On a related note (sorry), has anyone tried to use a third party touch pad with Metro apps, or with Windows 8 in general? If you have, do they add anything to the Windows 8 or Metro experience?
 

heatlesssun

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Speaking of "loud" apps, Music Maker Jam can be a lot of fun.

On a related note (sorry), has anyone tried to use a third party touch pad with Metro apps, or with Windows 8 in general? If you have, do they add anything to the Windows 8 or Metro experience?

I'm using a Logitech T650 touch pad and overall I think it does help with making Windows 8 more pleasant to use. It adds a number of gestures such as side swipes and there are gestures for getting quickly to the desktop and the Start Screen. Scrolling is great with this thing.
 

Eman D. Rahym

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Does it display a cursor on the screen when you just use one finger, so it can be used as a mouse replacement?

Does it "map" to Metro apps so that you can use the metro apps that allow for more than one point of input? For example, I just cited music maker jam as a fun metro app, and that's just with a mouse. The app really begs for multi-touch input so that you could activate and use multiple sliders at once. Could the T650 allow this? How about something like one of the available virtual drum sets?
 

heatlesssun

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Yes, it works pretty much a laptop track pad, only much bigger and more responsive than most for on a Windows laptop. It can't be used as multi-touch device the way that a touchscreen supports multi-touch, that pretty much is impossible without having the screen to see anyway. It does support pinch-zoom of course.
 

Eman D. Rahym

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Ah, thanks. So it's not like having the touch part of a touch screen lying down on your desk.

Now there's an idea for a gadget: make a dumb tablet that can only display what is on your screen but that has full multi-touch capability and that lies on your desk next to your keyboard so that folks like me with desktop screens can interact with them as if they were touch screens.
 

odditory

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Ah, thanks. So it's not like having the touch part of a touch screen lying down on your desk.

There's also that touch mouse by Logitech that was built for Win8 and supports all the gestures etc. Not sure about a dumb tablet because you wouldn't really be looking at it while its on your desk the same way you dont constantly look at your mouse, but they could make a feature called Windows Connect or Windows Anywhere engrained in the O/S that lets any existing tablet (Win8 RT/Pro/Phone, Android, iPad) "remote control" it like the 'dumb tablet' idea, by leveraging RDP in a more seamless way such that it doesn't lock the local console of the PC upon connection like RDP normally does (I realize theres a reghack around this) and you could not only remote-control the PC through touch (similar to Splashtop) but MS ideally would also have a cloud backend that arranged the connectivity when away from home and outside your firewall.
 
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odditory

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I'm not trying to rationalize anything, it's just that people throw around the term killer app and don't usually explain what exactly is a killer app. One that everyone uses? Ok, then that's stuff like Angry Birds, Instagram. Facebook, Twitter etc. Windows 8 certainly needs more apps of this nature, but there's some politics involved with some of these. Facebook if probably very reluctant to develop a Windows 8 app because of concerns of diverting users away from the more profitable web site.

Killer feature as in "gotta have it and not available on any other platform". Example BBM on Blackberry up to about 2007 was a killer feature and many people I know hung on to their aging BB's because they couldn't give up BBM while everyone had moved on to iPhone. For MS, the more I think about it the more they could've used something as major and likely historic as a real IPTV offering - and Metro exclusive. That would've been a game changing feature to complement their aim to deliver a game changing O/S. I realize easier said than done and even Apple with their infinite billions haven't been able to do it (or decided it not worth it), and I realize breaking in to such an entrenched and highly political market must be nigh insurmountable, but of handful of companies with enough power and cash reserves to pull off the impossible Microsoft is among them.
 
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heatlesssun

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Good point but look at Blackberry now. Sure, that awesome platform exclusive would be nice but I don't think it means a lot in the long run.
 

Domingo

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I use Netflix, Weather, and People pretty regularly. I have mail set-up, but it's honestly pretty rough even compared with most mobile e-mail clients.
The Travel app is surprisingly pretty good although I wish it would allow you to book flights and hotels together as a bundle.
 

mavrocket

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i have problems with my metro apps, some will not connect to the internet they keep saying offline even when i am online:mad:

Did you set Enable_LUA to 0 in the registry? This breaks Metro Apps.

As far as my most used Metro App, it has to be Weather, and Mail is handy to take a quick peak at my Gmail and Hotmail accounts.
 

Snel

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I actally like W8 after using it for a few hours. Though I'm not using any apps so far. I'm just using it as a more sexy start menu. Creating my own pictures for all games/programs in GIMP then make shortcuts with oblytile.
 

MrCrispy

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Besides games and media, almost nothing makes sense on a pc, since a normal app/website will be 10x more functional e.g. apps like Metro Dropbox/Skydrive really are such a pain to use due to Metro limitations.

I also don't like how the Store is so slow. Everything takes forever to load. Maybe just a general characteristic of WinRT though, since Surface has the same slowness and lag.
 

odditory

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Good point but look at Blackberry now. Sure, that awesome platform exclusive would be nice but I don't think it means a lot in the long run.

You're like a jedi master of being a brick and skirting around a point, my man. :) We'll just have to agree to disagree that a killer feature can be the differentiator between a product that dies or survives in the long run, common sense be damned apparently.
 

heatlesssun

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You're like a jedi master of being a brick and skirting around a point, my man. :) We'll just have to agree to disagree that a killer feature can be the differentiator between a product that dies or survives in the long run, common sense be damned apparently.

I'm not disagreeing with you. At this point all of us are just guessing.
 

octoberasian

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I think the most used Metro app I have is Netflix. I launch it on my 2nd monitor (a 32-inch HDTV) and it works perfectly.

Other than that, I haven't used much of the other apps I've downloaded. Oh wait, there's that Newegg app I used a few times. Though, I keep reverting to using Chrome desktop and browsing to the website.

Looks like old habits die hard. (Speaking of movies and "die hard", looking forward to February 14th.! Nothing like being single and watching a guy flick on a day that depresses me to no end.... *sigh*)
 

griffinhart

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So far, there isn't a single Metro style app that I use on my desktop PC. Not a one.

I tried the Audible app, but I find the original windows app is more functional and I can keep it visible on my second monitor. I don't want to use my primary monitor to display it. All the other apps I have tried (including Audible) are just less functional versions of software I already run.

The Mail application, for example, is a miserable piece of crap. It takes longer to load than my full outlook client and is miserable to manage mail with using a mouse. No way to turn off the preview pane.

Metro One Note isn't as functional as the full desktop app.

Calendar is less than useful, a full screen calendar that, for some reason, can't talk to my Office 365 account is of no use to me.

Photo management apps are terrible. File management in metro is bad and limited.

The music app is ok to play a song or two, but to really create playlists or manage your music collection it's not good, so why use it?

All in all, I have zero use for the metro UI on my desktop PC. If it weren't for 8gadget and start8, I doubt I would still have it installed. It's clear that metro apps are really mobile apps and aren't suitable to run on a desktop PC. Frankly I have found every single Metro app to be very awkward and clunky to use on a non-touch PC.

On my tablet, I do occasionally use the touch browser, Netflix and kindle apps when I'm not trying to be productive and am just using touch. The rest of the time I'm using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and using it as a desktop PC.

If Win8 came, out of the box, with an optional start menu (with start screen as an option), desktop gadgets and aero-glass with the whole Metro UI stuff primarily used on touch devices and optional for non touch devices, it would easily be the best OS Microsoft had ever made for all x86 computing devices. Instead we got an OS that needs to be seriously tweaked with 3rd party utilities and registry hacks to make it as functional as Win7 with some great new features for desktop computing. (ISO Mounting, being able to pause copies, etc)

I doubt they will release the data, but I would love to see the metrics on Windows 8 users and how many desktop (non-touch) users actually use Metro Apps or have circumvented metro entirely with 3rd party apps.
 

Sycraft

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Not a one.

I don't like fullscreen anything other than games. Hence I'm not much interested in Metro. I do regular desktop stuff. I use Start 8 to not have to use it.
 

octoberasian

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And, that's the problem, given the past two or so comments-- the apps that should be supplanting or replacing their desktop versions actually have limited functions and/or awkward usability. To me, they feel more like giant sized mobile apps than actual productive or useful programs compared to what you can get on your iOS or Android mobile phone/tablet.

However, to me, the only one that seems actually well placed and comfortable in a full screen, edge-to-edge environment was the Netflix app. It felt like a native program that came with my Uverse receiver or the TV itself. Then again, my second monitor is a 32-inch HDTV.
 

maw

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Weather, NetFlix and on a rare occasion, I Heart Radio.
 
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