The First Apps You Should Get for Windows 8
Windows 8's public beta is out, with more than 1 million copies downloaded. One of the main attractions to Windows 8 is its simplified Metro interface and the tablet-style apps it's meant to run. InfoWorld has gone through the initial selections in the Windows Store to choose eight apps any business user should get first. Check out our selections.
This app turns you into remote tech support for your family's and friends' PCs (you may want to make sure you're up for the demands of that role before installing Soluto). You can install apps, stay up to date with silent app updates, get important hardware info, defrag, and clear disk space no matter where you are -- even if the PC you're helping with is turned off or in another country. The people you're assisting don't even need to do anything -- again, make sure you're OK with this before signing up for duty. Soluto can be used for free with as many as five PCs.
The mSecure app has one simple goal: to help you manage your myriad -- and constantly changing -- passwords. It uses 256-bit Blowfish encryption and provides both prefab templates and the ability to create your own templates for managing usernames, passwords, account numbers, and all those other little bits of info you need.
Evernote is your does-it-all notepad app: You can jot down anything and everything that comes to mind, record audio you want to save for later, and even take pictures. Your Evernote account synchronizes among your Windows 8 device, iOS or Android smartphone, iOS or Android tablet, and the Web, allowing you to find your memories at any time from anywhere.
Of course Windows 8 is going to have an app for Microsoft's cloud storage service. With SkyDrive, you can store your files and access them from virtually any device. And when it comes to documents, you can view, edit, and share them using Office Web Apps.
News Republic is one of the most popular news reader/aggregator apps around. It pulls in stories from far and wide, but more important, it uses filters and keywords to give you a high signal-to-noise ratio. That way, you don't have to wade through nonsense to get to the stories you care about. If you really like a story, News Republic lets you share it via Facebook and Twitter.
AT&T Communication Manager
The Communication Manager helps you stay on top of your AT&T-network mobile device -- you can view how much data you've used (and how much you have left), including roaming data use, and check on your next bill cycle. The app also lets you connect automatically to AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots to save on cellular data usage and to activate service plans.
SigFig is an app for managing your entire investment portfolio. It not only gives you the standard charts and graphs, it can provide advice on how to avoid fees, which investments you should dump, and which market opportunities to jump on. It also features an overview dashboard that presents all your investment holdings in one place so that you can see the big picture.
This isn't quite a business app, but it's always helpful to know the weather so that you can get ready for your commute and/or travels accordingly. After all, nobody wants to get stuck in a rain shower unprepared.
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