Referring to my Surface RT user experience, I own it long enough to have an opinion about the available apps. So here is my choice.
The store looks exactly the same as the Windows 8 store. A nice addition on this is that you can check your already purchased apps (free apps are listed as “purchased” too), because they are interchangeble if fit for both OS’s. All apps mentioned below are tested and approved by me. This does not mean that they must work for others. I have rated the apps in the store as well.
As most apps are interchangable, on RT tablets, only apps fit for ARM processors can be installed. Always check the details of an app to see if ARM processors are supported.
Pre-installed productivity apps
Office RT Of course, there is Office RT, meaning Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. The major benefit of this package is that – besides perhaps OneNote – most people are working with Office already. All apps open in a desktop environment. Although a complaint is that it is not fit for touch, it works fine with both keyboard and touch (well, if you have relatively small fingers). Microsoft is working on a touch screen version, or so they say. Personally, I like OneNote, because it’s versatile and quick notes can be taken. It works pretty much like Evernote, and it is available already. That’s good, isn’t it?
Mail The mail app works pretty fine, but only with IMAP. This is probably due to not having too much storage space on the devices, so POP-email is not an option, saving messages locally. A lot of mail accounts can be added, though, including workmail. The settings can be adjusted for each account.
The people hub A lot of information of all your contacts, in one hub. Contact details can be merged per person (like LinkedIn, Twitter and your online address book) and updates are categorized per person. I think it’s handy, but keep in mind that you secure your device properly.
The reader app Clean and simple pdf reader. Just that, just as it should be.
Apps from the store
OneNote The new UI touch version of the app. I like it for taking quick notes when I don’t want to go to the desktop environment. You can open existing notebooks (location: usually your Skydrive location, but a local version is saved), create a new notebook, a new section or a new page.
Image resizer Available in a free and a paid version. I bought the paid version because I can resize pictures from a map completely. Very handy when you have to resize one or more photos for a website, online album or email. Several saving options available. Works flawlessly and intuitively. T
eamViewer Collaboration software. I use it to take over my pc on the attic, when I do not want to leave my couch. I like the touch version (fit for RT tablets), but I like the desktop program (for Windows laptops and pc’s) better because of the larger available screen.
espresso Mind Map A clean, touch friendly app for creating mind maps. Available in a free and paid version. I bought the paid version, because of the printing possibilities. Mindmaps can be saved as *.jpg file. A nice addition is, that the mind map can be saved as a more or less interactive HTML5-page for online presentations.
espresso Work Report A time recording app when working on several projects. Clean interface, does what it is created for.
Dropbox Well known, online document filing and sharing. Works good, as it should be.
CamCard A business card scanner. You can turn your analogue business cards into digital business cards, by taking a picture of it. What can be recognized via OCR is put in the available fields, but you still have to check if the information is correct, due to the quality of the picture. Works – I think – fine.
NoteAnytime An app to take notes and annotations (in PDF documents). Available in free and paid version. I bought the paid version for its printing and saving options. Works very fine, but saving is not too intuitive and takes some research. At this moment the only proper annotations app for RT. Printing is not a good idea, due to the not too powerful processor in the ARM based tablets. Better save it to Skydrive or email it to yourself and print it on your own pc or laptop.
Metro Pass Free A password container app, working with Kee Pass documents (*.kdbx). Very handy for saving a lot of passwords in one container. Synchronizes with Dropbox, Skydrive and of course off line storage. No need to remember a lot of passwords anymore, just one to open the main database.
Datumprikker A Dutch schedule website, where you can invite people to join a meeting, party etc. Has its own app. Works fine, but I don’t have use for it too much.
Tweetro+ At this moment the best Twitter app, I think. The only bugger is that you can only add two accounts as a standard and you have to pay for every extra account you want to add. Is expensive, but in my opinion worth the money. Skype Since Microsoft bought it, Skype has a wonderful integration within Windows. No need to add new contacts manually, it reads from your address book. I love the option to log in with my Live account, next to the regular login option with my already created username and password.
Journal by LifeScribe Even though I regularly make use of OneNote, I also like this app. It is my diary, I can add pictures, movies, music, doodles, text. And all intuitive. I use this one personally and OneNote for business purposes. It has nice skins and backgrounds