It’s no secret that Windows doesn’t always get the best reputation when it comes to design and beauty; in fact many go as far as to say that Windows is an ugly operating system. While there certainly are aspects of the platform that aren’t the prettiest to look at, we have seen that there definitely are some beautiful Windows apps out there, and the interfaces themselves are not the only showcases of beauty on Windows.
This list of application icons shows that designers do take care when designing for both the Windows desktop OS and the Windows Phone 7 app icons.
Clicking on each icon will bring up a link to download the applications
DoubleTwist is an iTunes replacement app for everyone. It works on both Windows and Mac and will sync with pretty much any device, allowing you to organise your music easily across all of your machines.
And best of all its free. (Ok maybe the best part of it is AirSync – up to you to decide)
This is a browser from the search giant themselves. With its unified search/address bar coupled with its slick design and fast update cycle, Chrome is quickly becoming one of the most popular browsers around.
The icon recently had a makeover and lost its gloss and shine to become the more matte and minimal beautiful icon you see to the left.
VLC media player is one, if not the, most popular media clients for desktop. With more features than you could care to count and a brand new version 2.0 (Twoflower) – highly recommended to anyone in need of a media player.
The icon is pretty darn beautiful and glossy, unfortunately the user interface for the windows client lacks the level of detail and design of the icon. Did I mention its free?
Winamp offers a similar service to DoubleTwist, including wireless syncing, however with arguably less of the eye candy. The interface is more complicated and dedicated toward the power user more, with many features and screens in a dark user interface. Some call it confusing, some love the control you have.
Once again struck by the free bug.
If you are a regular reader of any of the Appstorm sites, no doubt you will have come across Wunderlsit and some point by the wunderful 6Wunderkinder. This free task manager works on just about every platform known to man (ok not quite, but you get the idea), and offers syncing between every device you use it on.
This is one of those apps where the gorgeous icon is matches by the lovely user interface.
This is a very clean and elegant app for your media. It can hold your video, music and podcasts as well at connecting to stores such as the Amazon MP3 store directly. What’s also great about it is that you can add ‘Sources’ that are essentially in-built websites such as YouTube and Hulu so you can listen or watch pretty much anything within the app itself.
Postbox is a fully featured email client offering many features that could make it the perfect email app for you. With social connection, support for native Gmail keyboard shortcuts and integration with apps like Dropbox this is a very customisable application.
At $30 its not the most affordable application, but if email is a big part of your day then this could very well be a worthwhile investment
The Windows version of its very successful brother CleanMyMac, offers a lot of features that help you get rif of unnecessary files all wrapped up in a stunning user interface.
£30 is a decent investment of money, but it could be worth it if it saves you having to upgrade your PC with its new speed.
1Password is the granddaddy of password storage and it works across multiple platforms allowing you to never be without your passwords. It’s secure and offers a whole lot more than just password storage; such as saving credit card details as well as the licenses for your applications.
TweetDeck was recently purchased by Twitter and is considered to be one of the best apps for Twitter users who require more than the basics. Columns allow you to have a great deal of information, more so than most other Twitter apps and is aimed more at the pro Tweeters.
Made by the enemy, this app offers everything you need to sync your media with your iPods,iPhones or iPads. Even if you don’t have any of those iDevices iTunes is still an awesome app for managing your music, especially with the inbuilt access to iTunes Store. Best of all its free.
Spotify has revolutionised the way we listen to music, disrupting the traditional method of buying individual tracks, instead offering a monthly charge in return for almost unlimited music access. It also works on multiple platforms and with Offline Sync you don’t ever have to be without your music again.
What many consider to be the ultimate tool for note taking, Evernote helps you remember, save and sync your mind thoughts all in one nice package. Available for free and syncing across a myriad of platforms you’ll be hard come by to find a better solution.
Another Miro app, this provides a super simple way to convert almost any video to work on your iPhone, Android and many more devices. Once again its completely free and open-source
From Mozzila, the non-profit creators of Firefox, comes Thunderbird. Another email client aimed for more than the average user. Packed with many features this could be a close competitor to Postbox.
Plus its free, so there’s no harm in giving it a whirl
Again from Mozzila is Firefox, an excellent web browser. If you are not comfortable with Internet Explorer then you have a few choices, and this is certainly one of the favourites.
A powerful and lightweight Twitter client for your PC. It has great features like auto-complete for usernames as well as being able to customize the app to your liking with font sizes, choosing the number of tweets to load and even the colour of it.
Everyone knows about Google Earth – essentially Google’s desktop version of Google Maps with a few alterations. Its fun, easy to use, and lets be honest, who doesn’t want to see what their house looks like from up in the clouds.
A microsoft application that lets you see high resolution images of our universe. Its a big universe, so you’ll have plenty of things to look for and be amazed by.
The next level up from the infamous Wunderlist is this powerful project management tool from 6Wunderkinder. While its not officially released for Windows yet, the icon is here in its final design and you can still access the web app or use the Mac/iPhone apps.
This is an app for developers, and likely to have a much smaller audience, but nonetheless we think its icon deserves a place here. TexturePacker is is a sprite sheet packer and image optimization tool for game and web developers.
A free music player for desktop, web and mobile devices.With its dark user interface its certainly a contrast to most other music player/managers for your computer, which gives it a unique look.
There is certainly not been a shortage of file sharing services, ranging from huge websites like WeTransfer to the smaller services like Droplr or Cloudapp. The reason the small ones have been so successful is their ease of use. Just draggin and dropping files will automatically create direct links to them to share with your friends – easy as pie
Mobile Mouse is a trackpad and mobile remote for your computer. Download the app on your iPhone/Android device and use it to control the mouse on your computer as well as music playback and powerpoint controls and much more.
Windows Phone 7
The metro UI in Windows Phone 7 is unlike any interface in mobile seen before, and to match its unique and elegant design are some pretty great icons (or tiles). The designs for these, when done right, are unlike other app icons, and when they strike the right balance of minimalism and style, they can look really quite nice. Here are some of our favourite.
WhatsApp is a free smartphone messenger app that works across Windows Phone, Android, Blackberrys and iPhone, allowing you to communicate via text for free using Wifi or your 3G. While Blackberry devices have BBM and iPhones have iMessage, this great app breaks all the barriers and almost eliminates the need for texts on your phone plan.
Rdio is a popular social music service that allows you to listen to an almost unlimited amount of music, and now its come to Windows Phone. If your country supports Rdio, then its likely you’ll have heard of it and if not we recommend giving it a try.
This movie app by Flixster is the perfect companion for the film fans. Showing movie trailers, show times, critic reviews as well as user reviews, this app will give you all the information you need for your next trip to the cinema.
Access Vevo’s entire music video catalogue on the go, with over 45,000 videos at your finger tips. This app is the ultimate piece of software for those who love to watch music videos. The app is has a great design to it, and its icon follows in its minimalistic design path.
Everyone knows Google Maps by now, and some may even be surprised that Google decided to bring Maps to WP – although its hardly unlikely as seen by its deep integration in iOS and wanting to combat Microsoft’s own Bing Maps. Nonetheless the app is here and its got a big red icon to show for it.
Spotify is one of my favourite apps as it allows me to listen to all the music I want, whenever I want, and at a reasonably cheap price. Its services are similar to Rdio, but it also works in European countries like the UK. I really like the simplicity of its icon design.
The ultimate app for getting around in London is packed with amazing features like displaying your Oyster Card balance, covering tube, buses, overground and several more transportation methods. Wrapped up in a lovely user interface and a nice icon, what more can you ask from a travel app? (well besides great functionality, but the ratings suggest it certainly does have that)
This app from AP is your chance to keep connected with the world’s breaking stories. Bringing you news from over 1200 selected sources right to your mobile, this app will ensure your always up to date with current affairs.
If you need to find a cheap flight quickly, look no further. Skyscanner searches millions of routes on more than 1000 airlines to find you the flight you need, at the lowest cost. You can pin flights to you start screen, or have the flight details emailed to you and you can even compare the costs with rail travel. All wrapped up in this free app.
No prizes for guessing what this app does. It allows you to track your flights across the world with real-time informations like departure times, gate numbers and delays all at a glance. And it has global coverage
Pano is an app which assists you in taking amazing on-the-spot panoramic photos on your phone. With Pano you can take up to sixteen photos and have them automatically stitched together. It has some impressive features such as semi-transparent guides to help align each shot perfectly as well as advanced alignment and blending algorithms to provide a seamless image.
This app provides avalanche forecasts for Washington State and Norther Oregon allowing you to stay safe during your winter adventures. While it may only have a small target audience, its still got a great icon and great analysis on the conditions and how safe it is for out there.
So there you have it, 40 lovely icons from across the Windows desktop and mobile system. As per usual we’re sure you will have your favourites as well, so feel free to tell us in the comments what they are.
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