Ernie has a question about apps.  ” We do not have a ‘smart phone’ (no cell service in our particular area and they are too expensive) and I see a lot of iPhone and Android APPS that you guys talk about.  I’m wondering if there is some way of putting some of these apps to use on a standard laptop currently running 8.1?  Thanks for your time and efforts in producing your newsletters – I’ve learned a LOT and they are much appreciated!”

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Good question, Ernie. First, let’s talk about what an app is. App is short for application and an application is the same thing as a program.  The apps that run on Android phones and iPhones are usually smaller in size and lighter in function that desktop apps designed for the PC or Mac.

Android, iPhones and Windows PC each uses a different operating system. An app for Android won’t run on your PC and a program designed for your PC won’t run on your iPhone.

But often times, developers make versions of apps for multiple operating systems. If you like an app, there’s a possibility you can find it in the app Store for Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. (There’s no app store for Windows 7.)

To access the app store on you PC, look for the little store icon. It looks like a shopping bag.

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In Windows 10, you’ll find it on your taskbar.

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Once you open the Windows store, you can search for the app you want to find out if there’s a Windows version available.

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I will caution you that the app selection of the Windows store does not match the millions of apps available in the Google Play Store (Android) or Apple (iPhone) App Store. But you’ll still find a lot of choices. Click here to learn how to search for games in the Windows store.

With Windows 10, Microsoft is making a push for universal apps. That means that an app that works on a Windows phone or tablet will also work on a PC or on a device like an Xbox One The display may be different, but the functionality is there.

~ Cynthia