Notable apps in 2013 – Part 1 of 3

This has been a big year for apps and our lives continue to change and adapt as everyday tasks are made easier by our new devices.  Our phones, tablets and PCs are playing an important role in how we live day-to-day, how we collaborate at work, and how we connect with our friends and family.  I wanted to take a few minutes and take a look at some of the most notable apps of 2013.  I’ve grouped them into, (part one) photos and productivity, (part two) games and social apps, (part three) music and videos.  You’ll find some big names below as well as a few apps you may not have heard of before.  Whether you are a large ISV or a developer who wrote their first app in 2013, thank you for the hard work you’ve put into your apps to make them look beautiful, work smoothly and deliver great customer experiences.  I’m sure to have missed a few of your favorites, let me know about them in the comments!


Adobe Photoshop Express – Windows 8

One of the top downloads from the Windows Store, Adobe Photoshop Express is a free app providing basic photo editing in a touch interface.  Your images will be even more impressive when you take a few moments to quickly crop and correct your exposure with Auto Fix.  If you choose to make the color and brightness corrections yourself you’ll probably enjoy the handy “View Original” button at the bottom right that allows you to see if you’re on the right track.



Instagram – Windows Phone

Instagram is a great way to share your photos in a simple stream.  In addition to adding the ubiquitous filters, checking into the app will show you the latest posts from your friends and family.  Stay up to date by following businesses, celebrities, and creative from around the world.  Who do you follow?


Skitch Touch – Windows 8

Skitch Touch helps you to easily communicate your ideas by annotating photos.  Open a photo and make notes on it, including arrows and shapes, or you can start from scratch on a blank canvas.  Skitch also lets you zoom, crop, and pixelate portions of the image to focus your message.  It’s a really great touch-based tool for your Windows 8 devices.




In a world filled with distraction, it’s incredibly useful to keep notes.  Some of my colleagues still carry notepads, but most of us have gone digital.  Two apps ruled the roost this year, Evernote Touch and OneNote from Microsoft Office.  OneNote provides the richest text formatting and integration with SkyDrive, and both apps offer strong business versions that allow the business data to stay under the control of the IT administrator.  And one I love to call out is Calculator2 because not only is it a great app, but it represented an example where this was the first app a developer had created, yet it reached over one million downloads.


Evernote – Windows 8Windows Phone


OneNoteWindows 8

Calculator2Windows 8 


Flipboard – Windows 8

Flipboard gathers all of your favorite news sources and presents them as a beautiful, interactive, personal magazine well suited to the Winodws 8 interface.  You can streamline the way that you gather news by adding your favorite news sites as well as linking to 12 popular social networks so you can see what your friends are reading.


SkyDrive – Windows 8Windows Phone

My SkyDrive goes wherever I go.  All of my devices are connected through SkyDrive, and the photos I take with my Windows Phone automatically upload into the cloud for safekeeping and access on all my devices or through the web.  This is true for all my other documents as well, and having access to everything from anywhere has really helped my peace of mind this year.


Craigslist+ – Windows 8

Craigslist’s website interface has remained the same for years, and this app makes it much easier to browse the listings on a touch device.