7 Awesome Improvements Done to Windows 8.1’s Windows Store App

Windows users have seen the operating system evolve from a simple desktop-based one to a more complex operating system packed with some brand new features which are all designed to improve productivity and lift every user’s experience to the next level. One of these brand new additions is called the “Windows Store” and in this tutorial, we will be finding out what this feature is all about and discover some improvements that was done to it when it got carried over from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 so prepare your machine and try to access each section of the Windows Store that I’ll be showing on each items below.

What is Windows Store?

If you already own a smartphone that runs the Android OS or iOS then you shouldn’t find it hard to understand what Windows Store is. If Android gets its apps from the Google Play Store and Apple devices from the App Store then Windows mobile devices or even laptops that run the Windows 8.1 operating system get some free and as well as premium modern style apps from the Windows Store. Windows Store serves as the online apps marketplace for all Windows devices and it works the same as the other apps marketplace that you were able to use in other operating system platforms.

To access this feature which is bundled with every Windows 8.1 installation, all you need to do is click on its tile that is pinned on the Start Screen or if you installed the latest Windows update, you should also be able to access the Windows Store thumbnail on the taskbar.


Now that you are able to access the Windows Store screen, it is time to take a look at some of the improvements that were included with the version that comes pre-installed in Windows 8.1 machines which  were not available in the Windows Store version in Windows 8 so get ready to be impressed with the list of awesome innovations that I’ll be showing below.

1. Quick Links Available on Top of the Screen

The Windows Store version in Windows 8 was very plain and dull containing only thumbnails for the apps that are available for download and if you needed to access an app from a certain category, you would either do it the longer way which is by scrolling through all categories or a relatively quick way which is using the Search feature. However, both of these methods in accessing a specific app are still lengthy compared to doing it in the Windows Store version in Windows 8.1.


On top of the Windows Store screen in Windows 8.1 are quick links that will lead you to different important sections of the app such as “Home”, “Top Charts”, “Categories”, “Collections” and “Accounts” so you won’t need to do some scrolling, clicking or jumping from one location to another just to access apps or other settings. All you need to do is click on these links and you will either be taken directly to the location that it represents or access a list of categories and sub-links under them.

2. The “Ever Present” Search Input Box

Another improvement that is included in the latest version of the Windows Store app bundled with every Windows 8.1 machine is the search input box that is located on the top-right corner of the screen. This box always appears on its location wherever you are within the Windows Store allowing you to do a quick search for any app that you would like to download or see descriptions of.


Try to input a name of an app that you would like to install on your Windows 8.1 machine such as “Facebook” and you will see some suggestions that would appear inside a white box positioned just below the input box. This is an awesome function for quickly accessing an app’s description page since you will not need to wait for the screen that displays the search results to load which is what will normally happen if you click on the search button or press the “Enter” key.


3. Ads for Latest Apps Displaying in a Slideshow

In contrast to the Windows Store version that was available in the first release of Windows 8, the latest one that is pre-installed in every Windows 8.1 machine has some colorful, well laid-out apps with the latest and hottest ones displaying as advertisements in a slideshow manner. You can see this section at the left hand portion of the screen and if you like any of the advertisement that is displayed,  you can simply click or tap on it to access the app or the section that it describes.


4. Quick Access to Your Installed Apps

In the old Windows Store, accessing the list of apps that you installed on your computer required that you access the “Settings” charm but in the new Windows Store, all you need to do is click or tap on the “Account” link located at the top of the screen.


After doing so, there will be two other links that will appear below it which are “My apps” and “My account”. From these links, simply click on the one that says “My apps” and you will be able to access the list of all your installed Windows 8.1 apps.

5. Access Top Rated Apps Quickly

Still on the set of links that are available on top of the Windows Store screen is another one that will let you access all top rated apps according to certain categories. To access these categories, simply click on the link at the top that says “Top charts” and you will be able to open the categories under it which will appear just at the bottom of the top bar.


6. View and Access Certain App Categories in an Instant

Still on the links located at the top bar is another one that will open all available app categories such as “Music & Video”, “Games”, “Social”, “Entertainment” and others which will also appear as links below the bar. These app categories will help you find a specific app in the quickest way possible. To do this, simply click on the “Categories” link on top and all of the stuff that are under it will open just below the top bar where the link is sitting.


7. Access to App Collections Now Available

In the older versions of the Windows Store app, the only available app grouping was just the “Categories” and nothing else but in the latest one which comes bundled with every Windows 8.1 machine, there’s already a new app grouping which is called “Collections”. This new way of grouping apps allows you to see some recommended apps according to certain user types like “Music Lovers”, “Novice Users” and even “Travelers” so if you want to get to know some useful apps for that will fit your specific needs then you can simply access the “Collections” section of the Windows Store app on your computer.


The Collections section is found at the bottom-right portion of the screen. To see even more Collections category, you can simply click on the “See all” link located on top of the Collections section and you will be redirected right away to a screen that will show all of the other ones that are available.