Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Windows 10 Store Apps challenge

Inspired by the article Experiment: Using Windows Store apps exclusively for a week I have been thinking of trying this sort of challenge myself.

The idea is pretty simple; can I do everything I currently do but only with using Windows Store apps.  This is similar to the challenge I gave myself so many years ago when I was starting to use Linux except this time it is Windows Store apps and just Windows apps.  I already know there are a few apps or games that I am using that do not have a corresponding Windows Store app to use, so I'll have to concede those but that doesn't mean I cannot try and avoid using those or alternatives.
Now if anybody knows me, they know I am a pretty cheap bastard.  So you  won't find me using Microsoft Office 365 and gaining the ability to edit in the mobile versions.  On the other hand, I will do everything I can to avoid using the LibreOffice suite I have installed.  Instead, I'll be planning on using the web version of Microsoft Office, Google Docs or Zoho (since I'm using the web version, any of these are game so long as they do what I need).

I really don't think it will be the difficult because I have already some experience in not having access to the proprietary versions since going into Linux.  Now, Linux has such a wide breadth of applications that cover 99% of what anybody would want to do, I really don't miss the Windows programs anymore.

The other thing working in my favor is that ever since I received Google's original Chromebook, the Cr-48, and decided that to get the most out of the device by "buying in" to the concept, I can pretty much do what I need via the cloud.  Ever since there, whatever Linux distro or platform I use, so long as I can use the browser and get online, I can be functional.  This is further emphasized by being able to take advantage of this cloud-centric focus while at work where I cannot, and do not want to, install programs on my work computer.  Have browser, will be productive.
And there is no time like the present to start using Store Apps only.  So I installed this Windows Store app called Net Writer.  I was about to use the Windows Live Writer I have installed, but then realized when I opened it, that it is the former Windows Live applications and not a Windows Store app.  Unfortunately, I would have preferred to use Windows Live Writer.

I've only used it for a short time, basically just to write this post, and I now know I am going to look and see what else is available.

The interface itself is not bad.  Fairly basic, but does is not too bad.  It does the basics like connecting to my blogger site here and allows me to do basic text editing. I can add pictures and it includes the options for changing the size to one of 3 preset sizes (small, medium and large) as well as a custom size.  Unfortunately there is nothing about wrapping the text or controlling the flow over it. 
I guess the couple of things that do get me is first off, I cannot save a draft.  Or rather, I can but only after I pay for the "Pro" version ($7.99 for 1 year, $16.99 for lifetime).  Like I mentioned before, I'm a cheap bastard so I am not inclined to shell out that money and am definitely not interested with such a limited application. 

It's too bad the Windows Live Writer is part of the now-defunct suite of applications that was great on Windows 7 and no equivalent Windows 10 Store Apps match it yet.  At least as an "all-else-fails" I can still use Edge to access my blog and type up drafts there, or can use the email client's formatting capabilities and email my blog entry to be posted.  Yet, neither of these give me the experience of surviving in a Windows Store App only environment (the web being my fallback).
So I'll be looking for other Windows Store apps and if I find one that works for me, I'll let you know.  I'm hoping to highlight those apps I end up using and what ones don't.
Let me know if you have any Windows 10 Store apps you are fond of, or have found to work.  If it's free, I'll give it a try!

Now, let me see if this app can actually publish like it says it can...

Ok, first try failed.  Seems it requires you to save the picture in a Google Photo album named 'NetWriter'.  So that's what I did.  Well, seems it cannot find it for some reason. So I deleted the picture and will try to Publish this and then if I want, I can add the picture back in via the web browser.

Final word: I ended up having to copy-and-paste this into a Blogger draft via the browser.