The KnowHow App Centre is your gateway to downloading great apps from a secure, safe location. You’ll find commercial apps available to buy, but why not get started with this collection of 10 of our favourite free apps, all available through the App Centre? Just search for the program name to locate and install it.
Get a fully featured office suite for free with LibreOffice
Can’t afford Microsoft Office? LibreOffice is a fully featured – and completely free – alternative, including word processor , spreadsheet, database, presentations tool and drawing app. It’s compatible with Microsoft Office files too, allowing you to both send and receive documents without having to worry about compatibility issues.
2. Cozi Express
This tool can help even the most hard-pressed family regain some level of control over their busy lives. It’s a tool with parents in mind, including everything from a calendar and journal to grocery shopping lists and a meal planner. It’s free to sign up, and doing so allows you to access your information from tablet, mobile and web browser, as well as PC.
Bring order to your jumble of notes with ease, thanks to the increasingly versatile Evernote
Struggle to keep your notes and random thoughts in order? Evernote is a powerful tool for organising all kinds of notes, from text-only jottings to photos and other media. Notes can be filed into notebooks, or tagged and pinned to a map, providing you with all the tools you need to find them again at a later date.
4. VLC Media Player
Struggling to play a certain media file? Want to play video DVD on your Windows 8 PC? VLC Media Player is the tool you need, capable of playing just about any video or music file thrown at it, including most DVDs – perfect as DVD video support was dropped in the latest version of Windows.
5. Freemake Video Converter
This fabulous free tool makes light of uncooperative video files, allowing you to convert them into a format recognised by other programs. You can even use it to convert video specifically for playback on your mobile phone or tablet, optimised perfectly for its screen and compressed to a size that won’t gobble up your mobile’s free space.
This app is perfect if you’re faced with the prospect of making the same changes to a large group of photos. Rather than repeat the same tweaks manually, select your photos in XnConvert, choose the changes you want to make – resizing, renaming, cropping, rotating, even adding special effects – and watch it magically transform them all in a fraction of the time it would take you to do so by hand.
7. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus and Firewall
If you’ve not yet installed any kind of security software on your PC, then this all-in-one security solution will beef up the basic protection offered by Windows’ own tools. Don’t forget to remove any existing security software before installing this – use AppRemover to help you remove all traces of the older program.
Need security software? ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus and Firewall does exactly what it says on the tin
8. McAfee SiteAdvisor
Prevention is always better than cure, so avoiding risky websites is far superior to hoping your security tool will bail you out. McAfee’s free SiteAdvisor tool works in conjunction with your web browser to alert you to unsafe and potentially dangerous websites through ratings that appear when visiting the site and viewing search engine results.
Fun and Games
9. Alchemy Classic
This fun – yet simple – puzzle game provides you with the four key elements (earth, fire, air and water) and asks you to combine them in order to create new elements. Early examples like swamp, lightning and fog only require two elements, but as the game progresses you’ll find yourself combining multiple elements – some new, some old – to continue the evolutionary process.
Spend hours puzzling out how to combine elements and help the evolutionary process with Alchemy
10. My Little Artist
Let your children explore their creative side with this fun art package aimed squarely at your offspring. It’s incredibly simple to use: choose a drawing tool, pick a colour, select guides to produce symmetrical pictures quickly and easily if you wish, and off you go. Pictures can be saved or printed, and there’s unlimited undo and redo options, to obliterate any mistakes.
My Little Artist is a great drawing program that will entertain the kids for hours this Christmas