Using the Windows Store in Windows 8

The Windows Store application provides access to the Windows Store, the only place to get Metro apps for Windows 8.

The Windows Store gives a clean and easy to use interface to browse Metro apps. The apps are organized in categories in order to make app searching logical and easy.

You can launch the Windows Store app by clicking the tile of the app on the Start Screen.

Note that you need a Microsoft Account to be able to use Store. If you are not logged in using a Microsoft Account, then Store will ask to enter the credentials of your Microsoft Account.

Otherwise, it directly takes you to the main page.

Categories

The main page of the app lists all the main categories, like Games, News and Weather, Photo, Music & Video, Sports, Education, etc.

Each category provides a quick links (rather, tiles) to highest-rated, top free, and newly released apps. You can directly select an app shown on this page, or further browse a category by clicking on the category name.

Listing of Apps

You can see a list of all the apps that fall under the category.

The list can be further filtered by selecting a subcategory. For example, the Games category has several subcategories like Action, Card, Adventure, Family, Puzzle, Strategy, etc. Another filter is price.

You can list only free apps, paid apps, or “free and trial” apps. The so-filtered list can then be sorted by the rating of the apps, price and relevance of the apps.

If you like an app, then click on it to view its details as well as to install it.

Details of an App

The app page shows the details of the app, like its description, author, features, permissions, etc.


Details of the app include

  • Whether it is free or paid
  • Size of the installed app
  • Publisher and website of the app
  • the architectures on which the app will work
  • languages that the app supports
  • System resources that the app will use – like internet connection, access to another app, etc.

Besides that, an app page also provides the reviews of the app that are given by other users. The reviews help a lot in deciding the popularity and rating of the app.

Search Charm

Store has effectively implemented the Search Charm of Windows 8. Using the Search Charm, you can search for apps within the Store.

Suppose that I, being a great foodie, want to learn cooking. But, since I usually end up burning even Maggi Noodles, I wish to find out nearby restaurants as a backup.

Both my requirements being related to food, I invoke the Search Charm within the Store app, and type “food” as the search term.

Store lists several apps. Out of them, CookBook app fulfills my need to learn cooking (or, more precisely, burning food!), while the “Zomato” app serves as a guide to my city restaurants.

Context Menu of Store app

The context menu of a Metro app can be invoked by right-clicking on the top edge of the screen. In case of a touch-based interface, you can swipe in the context menu from the top edge of the screen.

The context menu gives two options.

  • Home option takes you back to the main page of the app. It comes in handy when you have gone deep inside while browsing the app, and wish to go back to the main page.
  • “Your Apps” option lists all the apps that you have installed or purchased from the Store.

Settings of Store App

Following the tradition of Metro apps, Store provides its settings through the Settings Charm of Windows 8. The Settings Charm lists the following settings.

  • Account Settings – You can access the Store-related settings of your Microsoft Account. You can buy a Metro app only through a Microsoft Account. You can add payment method to your account. You can also set the PCs on which your purchased Metro apps should be installed.

  • Preferences – The settings in this section make it easier to find relevant apps for you. You can set an option to enable Store to provide you only those apps that support your language. Also, you can enable Store to make it easier for you to find apps with accessibility features.

  • App Updates – You can toggle automatic download of the app updates. You can also manually check for any app updates. You can sync app licenses so that you remain up to date with the latest app information.

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