Five free apps to get from Windows Store

Five free apps to get from Windows Store
A screenshot of the Flipboard app, available for download in the Windows store.

Asphalt 8 Airborne

As with other games in this arcade racing series, the fun lies in executing moves such as the air stunts introduced in this instalment.

There is a new physics engine, presumably to make the inevitable crashes even more realistic. Players get to drive (and crash) supercars licensed from their manufacturers in a number of varied locations.

The game boasts excellent production values. Its graphics are top-notch and the soundtrack is very good. There is a lengthy career mode while a multiplayer option lets you compete with your friends.

Dragon's Blade

Older gamers can get their nostalgia fix with Dragon's Blade, a turn-based, role-playing game that evokes classic 2-D, top-down games such as Pokemon and Final Fantasy.

Like those old-school games, your party of four adventurers will randomly encounter enemies while exploring the world. The pixelated graphics are charming while the soundtrack does a decent job of transporting you to a bygone age.

A much-welcome modern touch: games can be saved to the cloud. A sequel is in the works.

Flipboard

The popular news reader app is finally on the Windows platform. The app has some Windows-specific touches. It can be pinned on the Start Screen as a Live Tile so you can monitor the latest content with a glance.

Windows swipe gestures bring up additional options, including Subscribe and Refresh. You can also read it in split-screen mode using the Windows snap feature. In short, it is the news reader app to get, especially if its recommendation engine improves after its purchase of rival Zite.

Freda

Reading ebooks on a tablet is easy with the Freda app. It supports the free and open EPUB format, along with HTML and text files. Freda has a back-up and restore tool that is useful when migrating your library to another device.

But my favourite feature is its integration with online ebook sources, such as Project Gutenberg. With a few clicks, you are able to download and read classic works that are in the public domain.

Hyper For YouTube

There is no official YouTube app on Windows Store. But Hyper For YouTube ensures that you will not miss it for long.

Besides useful features such as letting users download videos directly (in 720p quality, no less), Hyper can run in the background. This means you can enjoy your music while running another app. You cannot do that using Google's YouTube app on Android.

By Vincent Chang


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