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The Best Universal Windows 10 Apps for 2021

Windows 10’s app store (formally known as the Microsoft Store) is still around, despite the apparent lack of interest in desktop app stores from both users and developers. That’s a pity, since app stores help you avoid malicious programs, restrict apps’ access to deep system functions, ease installation and updates, and sync app ownership among devices. The apps in the store are lightweight, touch-friendly, and can run either full-screen or windowed.

What Is a Universal Windows App?

Universal apps (aka UWP apps, for Universal Windows Platform) have other benefits over traditional PC programs, too. UWP apps can interact with Windows’ built-in notification and sharing features. UWP apps can display current info on live tiles in the Start menu—handy for things like weather, sports, and messaging. These secure apps also run in their own sandboxes so as not to jeopardize the rest of the system. Another appealing aspect of universal apps is their ability to run on different devices, including tablets, laptops, powerful desktop PCs, Xboxes, and the HoloLens, VR headsets, and the huge Surface Hub. The apps use Fluent interface design and cloud services. Another advantage: They dispense with the Registry, which can gunk up PC’s and prompt users to run tune-up utilities.

What’s Not Here

The list below doesn’t include PC games, though the Microsoft Store houses loads of these. In fact, the store is aligned with the Xbox Store. I also left out apps that are bundled with Windows 10, such as Maps, Office Mobile, OneNote, Skype, ToDo, and Your Phone. Even with these caveats and exclusions, you can see from the below entries that you can find plenty of good options in the Windows Store. Don’t hesitate to point out any we’ve left out in the comments section below.

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