How to access Windows 8 apps on multiple devices

Monday 30 September 2013

Mobility and agility are at the heart of Windows 8, with the operating system (OS) designed to be used across multiple platforms. Whether you are using a traditional desktop PC, a notebook, a touch-screen monitor, tablet or smartphone, Windows 8 is designed to offer the same quality of experience, and empower users with additional features and functionality.

The flexibility of the OS means it can be used effectively across multiple devices. Providing you are signed in to you Microsoft account, it is possible to pick up where you left off on a different system. Apps can be downloaded onto more than one device, meaning users can work effectively wherever they are, at whatever time of the day.

Microsoft increasing the app/device limit

Up until now, there have been some restrictions on how individual users - particularly developers - can take advantage of Windows 8 and their Microsoft account. Customers have been subject to a five device limit for installing apps, but this is changing ahead of the upcoming Windows 8.1 update.

In a symbolic link, Microsoft has increased the limit to 81 devices - more than enough to alleviate account management concerns for users. They will no longer need to worry about which devices they install paid apps to, offering a greater range of options for mobile and remote working.

Feedback from Microsoft customers

"Since we launched Windows 8, we heard growing feedback from many developers and from our most enthusiastic customers that the limit of five was not enough for their needs," a spokesperson for the Windows app team explained. "In response to that feedback… we're increasing the app roaming limit to remove friction from the app installation process."

Writing for TechRadar Pro, Matt Swider claimed the increased device limit represents "a win-win situation" for both Windows app developers and users. He noted that the change - which will take effect on October 9th 2013 - will be just in time for the launch of Windows 8.1 on October 17th. "The new app roaming limit is also fit for the Oct 22nd release date of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2," Mr Swider noted.

Downloading apps from the Windows Store

Windows 8 comes with some built-in apps enabling users to collaborate, share, view documents and perform various other tasks. But a whole host more are available in the Windows Store, which is accessible to users with the latest Microsoft OS.

To open the Windows Store, tap or click the 'Store' tile on the 'Start' screen. You need to be connected to the internet to open the Windows Store and also be signed in with a Microsoft account to install apps.

Once you have accessed the Windows Store, you can browse the available apps, which are listed under categories such as 'Top free', 'Top paid' and 'New releases'. When you have identified an app you want, click 'Buy' or 'Try' if it is a paid app, or 'Install' if it is free. Once the app has been installed, it will be pinned to the 'Start' screen.

How to install apps on to multiple devices

Soon, users will be able to install apps on up to 81 devices through a Microsoft account. By signing in to Windows Store, you can look through the apps you own by clicking on 'Your apps'. This allows you to install apps on to more than one device. So, if you bought an app on your laptop, you can use this management feature to access it on your tablet, PC, smartphone or any other Windows 8 device.

On the 'Start' screen, tap or click the 'Store' tile to open the Windows Store. Then swipe down from the top edge of the screen or right-click, then tap or click 'Your apps'. Thirdly, choose the apps you want to install, and then tap or click 'Install'. It is also possible to reinstall apps which have previously been uninstalled on the device.

Find out more about Windows 8 by clicking here.

Posted by Dan Smith