Microsoft details a slew of updates to native Windows 8 Metro apps

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Part of moving to the app model in Windows 8 is that components should continue to improve even after the OS has shipped.

This is the case currently, with Microsoft announcing a number of improvements coming to the built-in apps in Windows 8.

The list include:

SkyDrive

  • Search within SkyDrive
  • Rename and move folders and files
  • New first-run experience
  • Custom sort order

Mail, Calendar, People, and Messaging

  • Conversation view of your inbox
  • Complete IMAP account support
  • Accepting and declining invitations in email
  • Capturing and updating your account picture
  • Improved search
  • Search for a contact within the Messaging app

Photos

  • Crop and rotate photos
  • New auto-curated collage slideshows
  • View photos and videos on network locations in your Pictures Library such as Windows Home Server, network shares, and HomeGroups
  • Move through photos in your Pictures Library even when you open them from the desktop

Maps

  • Bird’s eye view
  • 3,000+ indoor venue maps
  • Driving directions hints
  • Improved navigation and layout
  • Improved customization, including custom pushpins and roaming options
  • Integration with Bing and Travel apps

Bing

  • Richer search results for local content and images
  • Bing rewards integration
  • Use zoom on your search results to see related queries
  • Use the file picker to select an image from Bing to use on your lock screen or in your other apps

Finance

  • Additional news and magazine content
  • More market exchanges enabled
  • Finance videos

News

  • Additional news content from partners such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal
  • Enhanced article reader, including font customization, zoom, pagination, and more
  • Improved offline reading experience
  • News videos
  • Slideshows

Sports

  • Additional news and magazine content
  • Sports videos
  • Slideshows
  • New soccer leagues, including MLS, J. League, and Brazilian League

Travel

  • Additional news and magazine content
  • Improved flight search and new flight progress indicator
  • Improved hotel listing page
  • Interactive 360-degree panoramas (gyroscope supported)

Weather

  • Improved default location usability
  • Hourly weather forecasts, up to 10 days
  • Day & evening high/low temperatures

Video

  • Purchasing in local currencies
  • Closed captioning
  • Search by actor or director

Music

  • Expanded music services
  • Rich "Now Playing" experience
  • Discover more music with SmartDJ

Games

  • Exciting new games
  • In-game purchasing
  • Invites and turn notifications

The Bing update will be delivered tomorrow, and the rest before the 26th October. Updates will be delivered via the Windows Store.

Hopefully we will continue to see further tweaks to the OS well after the launch to continue to optimise the OS for touch and ease of use.

Via MSDN



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  • bmoura

    Glad to see the upgrades to the Bing Windows 8 Apps.

    I’d like to be able to move my favorite teams in the Bing Sports News App to the Win 8 desktop – so I can have live tiles with scores and news right there.

    Without the need to launch the full Bing Sports App to get at the info quickly.

  • guesttt999

    Microsoft is really giving all its got to make Windows 8 successful. Excellent work. Please work on the following apps next:
    Reader: needs option to print
    Remote Desktop: needs keyboard support to be a useful remote desktop
    Hotmail/Outlook: needs to support searching on the server

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      You can already print in reader… just saying.
      and remote desktop also would need a way to transfer files from your comp to remote one. i like the drag and drop in desktop versión
      anyway these apps seems going to be updated frecuently which is good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lundberg.christoffer Christoffer DrPepper Lundberg

    This is great, keep it coming!
    Some suggested future updates:
    Calendar: see and interact with Facebook events.
    E-mail: subscribe to Facebook private messages (Windows Phone needs this too!). Using Messaging for this is not good enough in my opinion.
    Sports: Champion’s League (Soccer), Swedish Allsvenskan (Soccer), Swedish Elitserien (Hockey). The ability to change the live tile’s data from news to favorite teams (displaying their latest result).
    News: the ability to add any RSS feed as a custom news provider. Also needs the ability to set live tile data for the tile, like selecting the favorite news provider and see news from it on the tile.
    People: the ability to pin contacts to the start screen.

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      in people you can already pin contacts to start screen. go to any contact, right click and the App bar, will have the option “pin to start screen”

      • http://www.facebook.com/lundberg.christoffer Christoffer DrPepper Lundberg

        Alright, missed that one :)

  • http://www.martinspierings.nl Martin Spierings

    Very nice updates. I didn’t even know we had search in Mail, but just keep improving it. I hope they will improve on it to become more like an outlook alternative, but its still lacking some of those features.

    Nice to see some updates coming in and hope they will continue this process a lot in the future!

  • mazz72

    Am I missing something? Is there a way to store favorites/bookmarks within metro IE in Win8? The only way I’ve been able to do it is by pinning them to my start screen, but I don’t want to have to do that with all of my bookmarks.

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      yeah they do. the same “pinning” button, has 2 options. for pinning to start screen or adding to favorites. the only thing missing its there is not a way to organize them properly.

      • mazz72

        Nope, not seeing it. All I see is the option to “Pin to Start”.

        • Emi Cyberschreiber

          are you running RTM? because thats what i am using (90 day trial) and IE has the adding to favorite option D:
          well if you arent using RTM at least you know it will be there in 2 weeks : P