Windows 8 – App Highlight: StumbleUpon and Shufflr

The apps in Windows 8 Metro have evolved quite a bit since we first saw them in the Windows Store with the Consumer Preview and there is now quite a fair-sized library of apps, some big name apps and some just smaller ones.

The entertainment category of the Store has seen the addition of several apps during this time, and today we are going to take a look at two fairly well known websites out there, StumbleUpon and Shufflr.

Without further ado:

Stumble Upon

For all of us news and information junkies, StumbleUpon has become a useful resource, so how does it translate over to a Metro experience? The answer is, it’s not too bad. The interface is easy to use, has seamless integration for stumbling and liking/disliking stumbles, and works well enough.

The downside is something that isn’t StumbleUpon or Microsoft’s fault – StumbleUpon works by pulling up random news and information from the net, so most of its results are pulled from a typical net setting and therefore may not look all that great within the Metro app.

They don’t look awful, mind you, they just don’t look great either. Overall, StumbleUpon translates pretty well here.

It is a simple app that requires only a few seconds to get used to using. Could it be better? Really I’m not sure how, since StumbleUpon uses news from the web, it would only look better if somehow they pre-fetched information and reformatted it to a Metro style… which might not work all that well.


Shufflr

For those that don’t know, Shufflr is basically like StumbleUpon but instead of just general news/entertainment discovery, it’s about sharing and discovering video content instead. I really like Shufflr and though I don’t use it everyday, I was happy to see that the site had made an app for Windows 8.

That being said… I ran into some problems.

In theory, the Shufflr layout is easy to use and works great. Unlike StumbleUpon, it’s easy to form a collection of videos into an attractive app.

So what went wrong for me? If you look at the screenshot above you’ll see just part of the video hanging out from the bottom… that’s how it showed up in formatting for me. I assume it should be to the right of the video choices shown in the screenshot, and this might not be Shufflr’s fault, it could be a problem of my own.

Assuming that this problem only affects me, this looks like a solid app. If it is a real issue for other users, than it is an app that could be a solid app with a simple fix.

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Both of these apps are examples of how Windows 8 Store has already grown to include apps that are actually useful and ‘big brand’ recognized. They aren’t perfect but they are a reasonable showcase of the Metro’s power and flexibility. I am very curious about one thing though, does anyone else have the Shufflr problem or is it exclusive to me?

I have a feeling it might be a rare problem, and not something that occurs on all machines… this just seems like something that probably would have been reported and fixed by now if it was affecting a bunch of people. What do you think of these two apps?

Had any problems with them?

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