Top five apps for Windows 8.1

With everything from standard laptops to ultrabooks by Lenovo and other well-known brands now compatible with the revolutionary Windows 8 system (and the latest Windows 8.1 update), technology fans everywhere can enjoy a host of spectacular apps designed for this modern user interface. However, do we really know which apps are worth downloading and which ones aren’t? Here are five of the best.

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Star Chart

Ever looked up at the sky and wondered what planets, stars or constellations you can see? Well, now you can find out. Thanks to the spectacular augmented reality feature of Star Chart, you can hold your tablet up to the heavens and discover what lies before you. That’s right, this app holds a wealth of information about many a celestial body and provides a side bar of information to feed your brain and imagination. Pretty cool.

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Flipboard

If you’re fed up of trawling through numerous newspapers looking for the best stories – fear not! With Flipboard, you can select certain topics and categories that interest you the most and this clever app will find all the relevant feeds for you saving you both time and energy. Simply create an account with Facebook or by using your email address and you’ll receive a customised magazine that should satisfy your news cravings!

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Fresh Paint

Unleash your artistic side without any mess with the help of Fresh Paint. This app works perfectly with touchscreen devices and allows you to create pictures, turn your photos into paintings and colour in a wealth of templates. With numerous watercolours, oil paints, pencils and brush types available, you’ll have all the tools you need to create something great as well as erasers if things go wrong. Blend and mix paints to get the colour you want and even frame your masterpiece when it’s complete.

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BallStrike

If you’re looking for a fun, innovative and clever augmented reality game that could help you get fit in the New Year, BallStrike might be just what you need. Simply stand in front of your computer’s web cam and start shedding the pounds by kicking, swiping and swatting balls to make them explode. You’ll see yourself in motion on-screen and can even share funny images on social media sites like Facebook to prove the fact that you do indeed work out.

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Grantophone

Budding musicians will love Grantophone, a Windows 8.1 app that allows you to make up a wealth of funky tunes on a four-octave keyboard. You can also modify and experiment with sounds by changing everything from the overtones to vibrato. Although you can’t yet record your creations (a down point which will hopefully be rectified at some point in the future), you can play over existing tunes for a good old beats session.

There are many apps available for the Windows 8.1 operating system but these are definitely five of the best.

Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason

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