Best Windows 8 apps this week

Seventy-one in a series. Microsoft is about to release an update for Windows 8.1 that became accidentally available yesterday but has since been pulled again by the company.

While it is still possible to download the update from file sharing websites, it needs to be noted that there is always risk involved when downloading updates from third-party sources.

Both Brian and Mark managed to install the update before it was pulled, which means that you can expect them to publish articles about their experience and the new features soon here on BetaNews.

In other news, Videolan, maker of the popular VLC Media Player, has confirmed that the player will make its Windows Store debut on Monday.

The app version of VLC is the first major third-party video player released to Windows Store.

This is a first especially for Windows RT users who up until now had to rely on Windows Media Player for video playback.

This week's Red Stripe Deals

The following games and applications are offered at discounts of 50 percent or more this week on Windows Store:

App of the week
None this week.

Other apps

Plane Wars ($1.49, free trial available)

plane-wars

Try to conquer all enemy bases in the game before the enemy conquers yours. Different types of bases are available, radar stations for instance or anti-air bases that provide you with benefits provided that you occupy them.

The game features a total of 240 missions that you can play in five different modes. Each completed mission gives you a star that you can use to buy upgrades, for instance to make your planes stronger or improve production.

USA Now

usa-now

USA Now brings full episodes of popular TV shows of the network to Windows 8. You can only watch full episodes if your cable provider is participating. If that is not the case, you only get access to select contents that do not require a TV subscription.

According to the app's description, this includes full episodes that you can watch using the application.

Featured right now are shows such as Suits, Royal Pains, Covert Affairs, and Psych.

Kobo Books

kobo

The original Kobo app was pulled from store a few months back, and this new version is a complete relaunch of it for the operating system.

You need a Kobo account to use the application, and can create one right in the app if you do not have one already.

The app offers access to Kobo's ebook shop featuring commercial and free ebooks, and an ebook reader. The app supports live tiles to provide you with quick access to the ebooks you are currently reading, and automatic bookmark syncing so that you can continue wherever you stopped reading regardless of device that you are using.

MetroMail

metro-mail

MetroMail is an email application for Windows 8 that supports only Gmail. While that is not ideal if you manage multiple email accounts from different providers, it may be interesting to Gmail-only users.

The application supports major Gmail specific features such as labels, archiving, or inbox categories that Google introduced some time ago.

It synchronizes data between devices, and can be used on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. If you bought the app on Windows Phone, you can generate a code to unlock the Windows 8 version for free.

Other features include support for multiple accounts, support for advanced Gmail search operators, or support for sending and downloading email attachments.

The app can be used free for 30 days. Ads are introduced after that period, and push notifications are disabled. While it is still possible to use the app this way, you can also purchase it to remove the ads and enable the notifications again.

Triangula

triangula

Triangula is a puzzle game that you can play against another human opponent or the computer.

The goal of the game is to fill out the game board by completing triangles on it. You can connect two dots on the board each turn, and when that last connection creates a triangle, it is filled in your color.

You do need to draw another line afterwards though and that continues until the board is completely filled.

Knox's Room

knoxs

A challenging puzzle game in which you need to complete various tasks to proceed. Tasks include getting a basketball into a container, or popping a balloon.

You manipulate the environment with objects that you can place freely in the level.

The game has no time limit and you can retry strategies for as long as you want without repercussions.

RT News English

rt-news

Read or watch the latest news of this broadcast channel. The channel is available freely and does not require a TV subscription.

RT, previously known as Russia Today is funded by the federal budget of Russia, for which it has been criticized many times.

Instant Housecall Remote Support

remote-support

A remote support application for the Windows 8 operating system supporting three types of remote support (on-demand, unattended or time-window).

The app comes packed with features, from session history access over collaboration features to multitasking.

The app is free for one year after which you can subscribe to the Express or Professional edition of the service.

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