Windows 8 Tip: App Availability Indicator

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One of the nice things about Windows 8.1 is that various system settings are synced across machines using SkyDrive. As long as you connect to your Windows Live account when you set up a new machine, those settings can be automatically applied.

I noticed the following icon on some of my Start screen tiles, and wondered what they were. At first, I thought they were meant to indicate that an update was available for the app, but when I checked in the Windows Store no updates were available.

Win 8 App Availabe Icon

Then I remembered that I hadn’t actually installed these particular apps on this machine, but that the tiles were in the same location as on the machine where I did install the apps. Voila!

These indicators mean that there’s an app available that you’ve installed on another machine. The indicator shows up both in a placeholder tile on the Start screen, if you placed the app there on any of your machines, and it also shows up in the All Apps screen.

Click on this icon, and the app will install. Nifty, eh? A quick Google search didn’t turn anything up on this one, and so there might be some other folks out there wondering what the icon means. I’m sure Microsoft has an official name for this functionality, but I’m just calling it the “app availability indicator” for now.

Let me know in the comments if this helped you out.

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