A standout among news apps is USA Today. It’s beautifully designed, letting you scroll through the day’s top stories as well as sections for money, sports, life, tech, and travel. All the while, you can see your local temperature and weather conditions in bug art at the top. For each section, you can view relevant photos and video clips. You can adjust font size for easier reading, and pin the photo and video sections to the Windows 8 Start screen—it would be nice if the same were true for the basic news sections. It’s a readable, skimmable, and enjoyable presentation of the day’s happenings. Another interesting if less polished option is Newsy, which offers multiple video sources for breaking, US, world, and entertainment news.
Teetotallers look away: We’ll finish off with one for the road, a cocktail recipe app that demonstrates some of Windows 8’s unique capabilities. You can start by picking a liquor type, color, type (exotic, classic, or shooter, for example). Once you tap or click into a cocktail, its ingredients float up in a slick animation, and the app displays preparation instructions and similar drinks. You can tell the app what’s in your cupboard, keep a list of your favorites, and peruse guides and info on garnishes and barware. If you’re more into solid food, the Cook Book recipe app from Bewise is similarly outstanding.