Tip o’ the Week #147 – Sharing Windows 8 Apps

clip_image001The next few weeks’ Tips will be out of sequence since they coincide with the launch of Windows 8.

As the world continues to enjoy Windows 8 (4m copies sold in the first week, apparently), the number of apps in the Windows Store is growing every day. It’s easy to discover apps – fire up the Store app and browse through the categories, or search for app names (just press WindowsKey-Q and enter the search term, and click on Store in the app list).

Once you’ve found your favo(u)rite apps – and there are already several thousand in the store, with plenty of big names – then you’ll be delighted that you can install them on multiple PCs (up to 5, in fact). So, when you get your Shiny-Shiny Surface device, you’ll be able to install the same Modern apps as you already have on your Windows 8 PC.

In order to install Apps from the Store, sign in using your Hotmail/Passport/MSN/Live/Microsoft ID, and that means you can always track which apps you’ve previously “bought” – whether you paid for them, or they were freebies – and you can always install those apps on other PCs, or if you had to reinstall Windows, you could restore your App portfolio.

clip_image003There is a scenario though, which isn’t so obvious – what if you have other users signing in to your PC, but you want them to see the apps too? Try creating another account on your own Windows 8 PC, and if you sign into it using a Microsoft ID, the default is that the Store will want to use that ID when it comes to seeing what apps are available.

This means that if you set up a PC and install all your bestest apps, then create an account for your Significant Other to use it too, they’ll log in and be offered only the apps that come out of the box.

You can also do this with a Surface or other Windows RT tablet device – so it’s a cinch to switch between profiles and have all the personalisation and content follow each user from other PCs as well as be kept apart on the tablet. Try doing that on your fruit-based, single user tablet Smile

Share your apps

In order to let your better half see the apps you’ve already clip_image005purchased/downloaded and installed, you need to go into the Store, bring up the Charms†  (WindowsKey-C, swipe from the right, or throw your mouse into the top or bottom right of the screen), open Settings then go into Your account and Change user to set the account that will be used for the Store.

† Not to be confused with the lucky variety.

Now, when you swipe from the top or bottom of the screen when in the Store (or press WindowsKey-Z, or right-click the mouse anywhere), you’ll be able to look at Your apps and see the apps that are available but not installed under the user’s account…

clip_image006When you’re finished “installing” the apps, you could – if you want – reverse the process so your S.O. could go and buy/install their own favourite apps on the PC too. And you won’t get to see whatever apps they choose to install, on your “Your apps” list.

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