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10 of the best apps you must install on your premium PC


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OFFLINE   sincity

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10 of the best apps you must install on your premium PC

Introduction

Kodi

Premium PCs are far from all about gaming and given the performance on offer it's no surprise that a high-end rig takes on just about any task with consummate ease. Think of the 4K screens and other elements as a springboard that helps apps shine and deliver an experience that will have you asking yourself why you didn't buy a premium PC before.

The Windows Store makes it easier than ever to get hold of the very best applications for your machine, not to mention the best gaming titles your new powerhouse can show off.

Even with all that power, when you strip it down to the bare bones it's still the same old PC that can perform the same old tasks that were possible in the early days of Windows. PCs today can be used by the whole family and the wider adoption of the cloud makes it easier than ever to produce documents, edit videos, tweak photos and so forth.

What follows is the very best 10 applications and programs you can get for a premium PC, and the reasons why you need to get them now!

  • In partnership with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre 360

Overclocking app

AMD Overdrive

The chips inside a premium PC have a high level of potential power and downloading an overclocking app such as one of AMD or Intel's own offerings (like AMD OverDrive) is by far the best way to take advantage of the boosts that are on offer.

Overclocking apps do come with a caveat, however, and really shouldn't be played around with on a whim. Read through the instructions thoroughly to make sure you know exactly what you're doing as melting the insides of your new rig is far from the best way to extract more power.

An overclocking app is best used to get the settings to a level that's completely right for your individual machine, making for an improved and more fluid gaming experience all round.

Steam

Steam Machine

One of the major reasons many people splash out a couple of thousand pounds on a premium PC is to get an unparalleled gaming experience that puts consoles to shame, and much of that is down to one service: Steam.

Launched by Valve in 2003, the app offers an absurdly large number of titles that cover everything from Football Manager 2015 to Grand Theft Auto V and a whole lot more besides.

A huge advantage of the app is that your purchases will always be available to you regardless of the PC, Mac or Steam Machine you are using, and the best part – so will those saved games you've toiled away for hours on. We're almost certain that if you're buying a premium PC you'll have heard of Steam, but if you haven't, download the free app and grab a few games. You won't regret it.

Netflix

Netflix

Streaming has truly revolutionised the TV industry as a binge-watcher's paradise and any premium PC worth its salt needs to have Netflix installed for one major reason – it offers 4K streaming. There's no need to buy that expensive Sky TV subscription to get hold of 4K content. Hell, you don't even need to buy a 4K TV if your monitor supports the resolution as the Netflix app is here to take care of things.

Right now the selection available to subscribers that contribute a couple of quid extra for the 4K service isn't large, and currently the likes of House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Marco Polo and a handful of others are all you can watch.

This will change over time as more films become available in the new standard, though, and you can just imagine the envious looks on your friends' faces when you explain you've watched the latest season in 4K.

Microsoft Office 365

Office 365

All PCs need some kind of productivity software beyond plain old Notepad and Microsoft's Office suite, the subscription version of which is Office 365, is still top dog in this department. It's a suite that offers a very different experience to what anyone still using Office 2003 is used to, and the cloud has changed it for the better.

For just £5.99 ($6.99, AU$9.00) per month users can have the Office 365 suite that contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook for a seamless productivity experience across all their devices, from premium PC through to tablet or smartphone.

Google Docs and Evernote may well be free but the level of productivity they boast is sadly lacking when compared to Office 365, and neither offers a desktop experience that comes close to Microsoft. For premium PC users that's enough in itself to splash out the money for Office 365.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

Putting your creativity to good use with all the new tools at your disposal inside a premium PC is a given, and the best way to do that is to download the big daddy of them all: Adobe Creative Cloud.

Rebranded as a software-as-a-service product, the programs are the same set that were a part of the Adobe Creative Suite meaning that it includes Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver, After Effects and InDesign to name just a few.

It's true that Adobe's suite will make a huge dent in your wallet, but if you've spent big on that new PC and want to get the best out of all your photos and videos then it's definitely worth shelling out for this suite. Best of all is the fact that Adobe will constantly be releasing updates for the offering so that it's completely up-to-date at all times.

Serato DJ

Serato DJ

DJs and sound engineers are another group that get a great deal from the power produced by premium PCs, and to truly harness that they should seriously consider getting a copy of Serato DJ.

Given the honour of 2014's best DJ software at the DJ Tech Awards, the program has support for four decks from the outset and benefits from Serato's trademark Virtual Decks that allow you to see all the key information on a track inside a slick interface.

It's true that you'll need to grab a pair of modern decks and various other pieces of kit to get the very best from this program, but wannabe mega-club DJs will already have the controllers, mixers and accessories they need. Granted, this program might not be completely essential for all premium PC users, but for budding DJs it's quite simply a no-brainer.

VLC Media Player

VLC

Downloading films and TV shows online or buying DVDs can often mean attempting to find a media player that brings all the various video formats under one roof whilst working seamlessly. VLC Media Player does that in spades and is an app that every premium PC user needs to download right now. The beauty of VLC Player is that it can quite literally play every video file on the planet with little fuss.

There's slightly more to this software than just an impressive array of formats, though, and it can also play DVDs, CDs, MP3 and FLV files. Another problem with some videos is the volume not being high enough on the original copy and thus rendering your premium PC's impressive new speakers useless. VLC handles this by boosting playback volume by up to 200% and blasting any sound problems out of the water.

All things considered this powerful program, which just so happens to be free, is an excellent way to play media on any premium PC.

Kodi

Kodi

Premium PCs at the top of the market all come with a monitor that allows you to bring out the very best in what the PC can achieve visually. Even though watching TV shows and any other content is already second nature to any PC user, there is still one stumbling block that comes with watching media from different locations – it's a hassle having to flit between programs to view everything.

What if there was something that brought everything together into a polished framework that gets the very best out of the pictures, music, videos and streaming sites you use with your PC? Step forward Kodi.

Loved by legions of online TV viewers, Kodi can be a challenge to set up but the payoff at the end is more than worth it. The console takes over your screen and allows you to add streams from anywhere online and place them alongside the local content stored on your PC.

This means you can switch from looking at the photos you took at the weekend to BBC iPlayer for tonight's episode of EastEnders, and there are even plugins to include your Freeview TV as part of the package. This app also has the added advantage of PVR plugins so you can record content to view later on.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Google has been building itself as the total web company from the outset and the jewel in its crown is the Chrome browser that delivers the best browsing experience on Windows or Mac – and by some way.

Chrome truly comes into its own in the amount of add-ons and extensions that come for free to embellish the experience. Everything popular on the web comes with an add-on that functions in Chrome, and the added syncing with other devices running Chrome is a little bundle of extra joy that just adds to it all.

Other browsers can also deliver the goods in the syncing and browsing departments, yet none of them feel anywhere near as polished as Chrome, and as such it's a must-have app for your premium PC.

360 Total Security

360 Total Security

The last thing you want to happen to your brand new premium PC is for malware or viruses to wreak havoc. With its four antivirus engines and lack of any adware, 360 Total Security is the best option for all users seeking quality protection for their machine.

From the outset it offers anti-phishing support, online shopping protection, network threat blocking, hard drive clean-up tools, a Windows update checker and everything else you've come to expect from an antivirus program.

It's true that the four antivirus engines (there's one from BitDefender and Avira, plus a pair of Qihoo's own) can take a long time to complete scans of your PC, but considering the level of protection offered it's worth the longer wait. Especially if it saves your shiny new PC from a disastrous meltdown.













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