5 Must Have App for Windows Surface
So, you've successfully configured your brand-new Microsoft Surface tablet, gotten acclimated with the detachable keyboard, and set-up all your important user information. What now?
To start, you'll need to download some apps. Fortunately, the Windows Store is already filling up with a sizeable selection that'll get you through your day-to-day activities, along with a few critical apps that you'll most likely want to download first before doing anything else with your NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered Surface.
Rather than simply porting its core, Android, or iOS versions, Netflix has given its Windows 8 app a completely unique interface meant to smoothly integrate with the Surface tablet.
Like the rest of Windows 8, the Netflix app shares the same grid-like Metro design that you'll see on the dashboard, with TV and movie genres broken up into scrollable columns. It's easy to navigate, and the app also features a ribbon menu on the left side that instantly takes you to specific genres or your personal picks.
With cross-app multitasking and fast menu browsing, Netflix on the Surface is a definite must-install.
Skype has the benefit of solid network service on just about any device, but some versions are notoriously menu-heavy and cumbersome to navigate.
On the Surface, that problem doesn't exist. Skype quietly idles in the background until you have a call or message, then springs to life when it's needed. From there, messaging, group chats, and regular calls work well, and you also have the option of pushing everything to a side column while you use the Surface for other things, like browsing the Internet.
It's not the first version of the service to allow mid-video chat multitasking, but being able to keep an eye on the video feed while otherwise engaged is a nice bonus.
There's already plenty of music, video, and photo apps to choose from, but Multimedia 8 saves you a bit of trouble by incorporating them all into one, letting you access all your media from one point.
Multimedia 8 does its job by smartly searching and cataloging any media on your other connected devices—like your Windows PC. Once it knows where everything is, the app lets you manage playlists, stream media over your network, and even convert media files in order to make room on the tablet's internal storage.
It's not the flashiest one in its category, but if you don't mind simplicity, it's very efficient.
One of the Microsoft Surface's most appealing assets is its ability to function as a secondary desktop PC.
With the Remote Desktops app, you can cut out the extra step of retrieving documents and projects from cloud storage by using the Surface to access your files anywhere you go. As long as the Surface as the right applications, like Microsoft Office, it's fairly easy to edit content while away from your desktop.
MetroTwit (or Rowi)
It's frankly a toss-up between whether MetroTwit or Rowi is the better Twitter app on the Surface, but each one has perks.
MetroTwit is the more "Win8"-looking app, with a clean interface that attempts to show you as much information about your feed as possible. That includes user stats, listed followers, and even extra information embedded within tweets. If one of the people you follow hashtags a song or movie, MetroTwit looks up what it is and displays a sidebar about it.
If you prefer larger text and a flashier interface, Rowi is the way to go. Columns are larger on the whole, while reading and browsing is complemented with thick, heavy typefaces. If you like to leave the Surface open on your desk while doing something else, the visual style makes things easy to read at a glance.