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11 winning alternatives to Windows 8's built-in apps

Alex Cocilova | Nov. 7, 2012
Windows 8 comes preloaded with plenty of apps for basic productivity and entertainment, but they're not necessarily the best you can do. We've already mentioned the apps you should download first, but now we want to share some third-party apps that you might like more than what Microsoft includes in its basic Windows 8 installation.

But, yes, we have options. For some great, free travel journalism, look no further than Marco Polo travelmagazine in the Windows Store. The app itself allows you to download the monthly issue (for free), and stores it locally for future use. The issues take a while to download, but once they're done, you can enjoy a plethora of stories, pictures, and video about exotic places all around the world. Unfortunately, though, the magazine won't help you with booking your next flight.



Microsoft's Mail app is intended to be a central funnel point for all your email accounts, be they Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or any combination of the above. Unfortunately, as with many of Windows 8's built-in apps, Mail lacks flexibility and features. It looks nice, but isn't the most useful tool in the tool chest.

And so the juggernaut that is Gmail is still our go-to choice for mail. Apps are great, but some things still work best in the browser. Our best advice would be to pin your bookmark of Gmail to your Start screen so that it has its own tile and can act as an app with quick and easy access.


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