Reluctant Windows User Needs Apps
October 12, 2017 6:57 PM   Subscribe

So six years ago I asked this question about Mac Apps. Well. Recently I fried my macbook when my cat knocked over a glass of wine. I can't afford the money to replace it right now, so I bought a windows 10 machine. Please hope me.

Now I am back to using windows for the first time in 6 years. I have no idea what some of the great apps are.

What I have downloaded:
* spotify
* chrome
* adobe creative cloud (I subscribe)
* Diarium
* OneCalendar
* Kodi

Things I'm looking for:
* social apps
* productivity apps (particularly any cool word processor software)
* very, VERY, casual games (e.g. I suck at gaming) * well, anything you think is awesome really
* anything that will make me miss my Mac less.

On a final note, what should I immediately get rid of? I already got rid of ebay and other junkware. Should clearly uninstall groove music, and something called Driver Restore is driving me batty. What else is crap?

Thanks in advance for your help.
posted by aclevername to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure what constitutes "cool" in the world of word processors, but I'm pretty sure there isn't one. There is Word, there is Google Docs, and there is LibreOffice. If you want to write a novel, there is also Scrivener. Frankly, you can't go wrong with an Office 365 subscription; it's the whole Office suite, and there is nothing more standard than Microsoft Office on a PC.

I, too, suck at gaming. Nonetheless, I have Civilization V on my PC.

I do all my social media on the PC through Chrome. You might check out Edge as a browser; it's been improving, but I don't use it so I have no idea whether it's actually any good.

My PC usage is quite dull; all my fun stuff is over on my iPad; the PC is mostly for storage, intense file manipulation, and late-stage fiction editing that is too difficult on the iPad.
posted by lhauser at 7:22 PM on October 12

You can use iCloud on Windows, which gives you within-browser access to Pages, Numbers, iCloud Drive, etc.
posted by The Deej at 8:52 PM on October 12

You can find a lot of good suggestions in Lifehacker's (usually) annual Windows Pack article. The most recent one is from 2016, but it's probably still a good place to start.
posted by NumberSix at 9:31 PM on October 12

For word processing I use markdown in Visual Studio Code, which has a simple mechanism for showing you WYSIWYG markdown output in a side-by-side or separate tab, depending on preference. But I'm a content separated from presentation type of writer. For beautiful markdown outputs there is pandoc/LaTeX. (VSC is a freebie from MS that is absolutely lovely to look at and is easy to use.)

Check my profile for free art apps that might make you rethink your CC sub. :)

For low skill but fun gaming you can't go wrong with Stardew Valley.
posted by xyzzy at 9:53 PM on October 12

I'm really liking Hain as an app launcher. It's not quite as good as Alfred on Mac but it's pretty good.
posted by Nelson at 5:55 AM on October 13

For casual games, install Steam, and go looking for cheap games of the type you like. Also check out and All of GOG is DRM-free; H'bundle has both DRM-free and Steam-key games.

Steam has keyword search for games, you can look for the ones tagged casual. (Note that since users are tagging them, their notion of "casual" may not match yours.) If you're on a limited budget, read reviews before you buy anything - especially, read the negative ones. Skip past anything that says "this sucks and isn't worth the money" and find the ones that say "too short for the cost" or "combat is terrible" or "buggy and causes lag" or "puzzles are too simple/hard" - and then decide if those are problems you can live with.

I mostly play hidden object, point-and-click adventure, and puzzle-focused games; I'd be happy to throw recommendations at you, but am not sure how many you'd like. I adore Hexcells and its sequel(s). Lumini is pretty but requires more skill than I have. Bejweled zen-mode remains a delight. Everything by Amanita Design is wonderful.

... I have not tested any of these on Win10, but I will be soon; I have a new Win10 travel laptop which, being a Dell, arrived with a semi-functional fan; I'm getting it fixed soon and will be testing a lot of my Steam games on it.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:22 AM on October 13

Big Fish Games has lots of casual games and lets you try them for an hour before buying. Most are like $10 but they run tons of sales.
posted by soelo at 9:19 AM on October 16

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