What’s ‘Appening is a series of lists by Microsoft Singapore detailing some must-have apps for your Windows 8 or Windows Phone device. Do check them out and discover some hot new apps!
Learn as if you were to live forever
History is filled with prominent figures who did not think much of the concept of a formal education. From Mahatma Gandhi to Albert Einstein, the wise saw education as something beyond what we are taught, and encouraged proactive questioning and learning any way we can.
With modern technology, indulging in our love for learning has become easier than ever. Much of human knowledge has been digitized and readily accessible through easy-to-use apps on our smartphones and tablets.
Have kids who use your smartphone more than you do and leave you with the task of ensuring they learn something from those fun games and apps? Or do you simply wish to fill your spare time with a few information nuggets?
No matter the reason, you’ll be able to find apps for all of your learning needs on Windows and Windows Phone in this issue.
“Confucius said, ‘You cannot open a book without learning something.’ In this day and age, perhaps we should be saying, ‘You cannot launch an app without learning something,’ instead!”
Education apps for children
Personal devices such as tablets and smartphones present a great opportunity for children to sharpen their brains at an early age aided by rich visual apps and interactive games. With the cost of full-fledged Windows devices becoming more and more affordable, it’s time to give your children a head start with two of the most popular education franchises — Sesame Street and Dr. Seuss.
As one of the most recognized children’s television series, and quite possibly the best way to introduce children to English and Mathematics through great characters and skits, Sesame Street is synonymous with fun— and possibly the best way to learn ABCs and 123s!
You’ll find plenty of puppet fun on both Windows and Windows Phone, through the new Sesame Street Touch & Learn TV (Windows). The app features eight 20-minute episodes of Interactive Sesame Street content based on the award winning Kinect Sesame Street TV game for Xbox 360.
Or get your kids to learn how to count with Bert in Bert’s Bag (Windows Phone) as he goes through the stuff in his bag, or learn how to read by planning a party with Elmo in the interactive e-book Big Block Party (Windows Phone).
If you grew up thinking eggs and ham were green, then you have Dr. Seuss to thank. The prolific writer’s ingenious use of words and rhyme has captured the imagination of thousands of children.
Classic stories like The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and The Lorax are now available on the Windows Store, where they come to life with interactive features such as professional narration, and word-picture association, where key words are magnified and spoken when touched.
There is no better way for children to learn than having them grow their own abilities through exploration and trial and error. Interactive apps are wonderful in that respect, as they allow children to touch, speak, and stretch their minds to the fullest.
My Talking Tom (Windows Phone) is one such app, featuring a cat which reacts differently depending on how the kids interact with them, and has thousands of combinations of furs, clothing, and furniture that unleashes their creativity.
Otherwise, set their imagination free with Disney Infinity: Toy Box (Windows), which lets children build and play in world which they create.
Captain Jack Sparrow in a sports car racing Dash from The Incredibles? Why not? In this game, you make your own world, create games with your own rules, and build places that exist only in your imagination!
Learning never stops – that’s where we need apps, apps and more apps to help us keep our pulse on the latest and perhaps wow some others with our vast knowledge! Here are some great picks to learn on-the-go:
|Bing News (Windows and Windows Phone): Stay in the loop and never miss a headline with the Bing News app. Now you’ll be the one telling your friends what’s going on in the world.|
|Wikipedia (Windows): The ultimate people-built encyclopedia, Wikipedia’s official app on Windows 8 gives you access to more than 20 million articles in 280 languages. Just make sure to cite your sources!|
|Dictionary.com (Windows and Windows Phone): Keep the definitions and synonyms of over 2 million words in your pocket, even offline! Plus, learn new words every day with Word of the Day and other features.|
|Trivia Buff (Windows Phone): Become the master of trivia with an inexhaustible supply of facts big and small, all updated daily. With Trivia Buff, bringing home that pub quiz contest trophy will be a cinch!|
Apps are a student’s best friend
Hundreds of millions of teachers and students around the world rely on Windows and Windows Phone to teach and to learn, and it’s not hard to see why. Other than the ubiquitous world-class productivity suite Microsoft Office, both platforms are packed with apps that enhance the education experience — with a little bit of fun on the side.
Supercharge the essential note-taking process with Microsoft OneNote (built-in on Windows and Windows Phone), a digital notebook for not just your studies, but all aspects of your life from shopping lists to travel planning. And they’re all synced to OneDrive (Windows and Windows Phone) so you can take them with you wherever you go!
Put a little structure in your daily schedule with Power Planner (Windows and Windows Phone), which features live tiles and automatic reminders for homework assignments and class schedule, so you don’t even have to launch the app to get up-to-date info.
For the times when you need to run through lists of questions and answers and commit them to memory, give FLIP (Windows) a try.
Best of all, you’ll be learning even as you input your custom quizzes into the app!
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Learning isn’t just for kids, and education for adults is experiencing a renaissance with the help of technology. With just a few taps of your finger, you can immerse yourself into a whole new domain of knowledge.
Keep your mind sharp for as long as you live with Khan Academy (Windows and Windows Phone), a non-profit service that streams free video lessons on topics ranging from computer science to the humanities, all for free! More than 10 million users per month benefit from the immense time and effort put into making Khan Academy’s video lectures.
Want to find out how computers work? What about cars, or for that matter, space shuttles?
Exactly as its name suggests, How Stuff Works? (Windows) introduces and explains tens of thousands of topics with the help of videos and illustrations, all sorted into convenient categories and channels.
You can even listen to the HowStuffWorks podcasts right from within the app. And when you’re done, test your newfound knowledge with in-app quizzes to make sure you’ve really learned your lessons.
If you can’t get enough of that, be sure to check out Discovery News (Windows), created by the same people who also brought you the Discovery Channel.
The Discovery News app focuses on explaining the world through a lens of curiosity, sorted into awesome categories such as Space, History, and Adventure. It’s constantly updated with news articles, immersive videos, and stunning photos, so you’ll never be bored!
Featuring rich detail and artistic beauty, the app allows you to explore every country and continent on Earth in high resolution. You can zoom down to country-level detail and learn about the Flags and Flags of each country, including concise geographic and socio-economic data.
Who knew Windows and Windows Phone could make learning so much fun!