Microsoft Windows 10Few factors will have as profound an impact on your workflow as the operating system on your main computer. This is your primary point of interface and it’s where you’re going to get most of your work done. In the not-too-distant past, we took a look at some of the key Windows 10 features that should help you work smarter and improve your productivity. These are all features that are baked in the Microsoft platform itself, but what about all the extras you can add on top.

If you recently installed or upgraded to Windows 10 on your computer, some of the free Windows 10 apps that you should download as soon as you can are listed below. These can help fill in some of the gaps you may have lost during the transition from Windows 7 or Windows 8 into this new operating system.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Edit your photos as quickly as possible

Edit your photos as quickly as possible

For those of you who process and edit image on more of a professional basis for your job, then you have likely already invested in more powerful software for this purpose. For the rest of us who only need to touch up, crop or resize an image now and then, Adobe Photoshop Express should be more than adequate. It does all the basic things you need, plus it has an automatic touch-up feature to make your photos extra awesome in a single click. And, tapping into this whole recent trend, Photoshop Express has an assortment of filters and effects too.

VLC Media Player

One of the best free Windows 10 apps you need in your life

One of the best free Windows 10 apps you need in your life

By and large, the media that you’ll be handling these days will not be of the physical variety. You’ll just have the digital files. Even so, it was a strange choice by Microsoft to charge people $15 for an app just to play physical DVDs. That makes no sense at all. Even though it is listed as VLC for Windows 8 in the Windows Store, it has been updated to work best with Windows 10 too. VLC can handle both local files and network streams, including both audio and video. It supports multi-track audio and subtitles, as well as speed control.

Dropbox

A cloud storage alternative to OneDrive

A cloud storage alternative to OneDrive

It’s not surprising that Microsoft has designed its new operating system to work best with its own cloud storage solution. If you’d rather not use OneDrive, then one of the first free Windows 10 apps you absolutely must get is Dropbox. You can already configure Dropbox to synchronize with a folder on your computer, but this app gives you a much more visual representation of what you have saved in the cloud. The picture thumbnails are easier to skim and your files are easier to share with a couple of quick clicks.

Twitter

Tweeting with the little bird on your desktop

Tweeting with the little bird on your desktop

When it comes to my social media affairs, I’m more inclined to use a dashboard like HootSuite. If you want one of the best free Windows 10 apps that’ll work without having to boot up a browser, the official Twitter app is hard to beat. It’s come a very long way since it’s early days, supporting multiple accounts, a very graphically-oriented layout for images, and the option to include emoji and emoticons within your 140 character limit.

Flipboard

Flipping out over the latest news

Flipping out over the latest news

Are you spending too much time visiting individual news sites to get the stories about your niche or industry? Gather them all together with the Flipboard app for Windows 10. If you’ve ever used Flipboard on any other platform before, you’ll feel right at home here. You can pull in stories as an RSS aggregator, plus tapping into more general topic areas to get the top stories as they happen. Simply flip your way around like you would with a digital magazine and stay on top of everything you need to know.

Image credit: moncif ait ahmed / Flickr

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