Microsoft updates built-in Windows 8 apps in time for October 26th launch - PC Retail

Microsoft updates built-in Windows 8 apps in time for October 26th launch

Bing is first app to get an update
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Before Windows 8 gets if official release, Microsoft has decided to update virtually all of its built-in apps.

Apps that will get an update include SkyDrive, Mail, Calendar, People, Photos, Bing, Maps, News, Weather, Travel, Video, Music, Games and Finance – all of which ship with the new operating system.

In a blog announcing the updates Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky wrote: We’re super excited to be approaching general availability (GA) of Windows 8 and Windows RT. With thousands of new apps in the Store, there are a lot to choose from and tens of thousands of developers have been very busy around the world creating new apps.

“Across Microsoft we’ve been busy since August adding new features and improving the apps that come with Windows and will be updating these apps before GA. We’ll introduce new features, improve performance, and increase reliability. This post is authored by Gabriel Aul on our program management team and details some of the updates you will see starting in the next day or so as the updates enter the Store.”

Bing is the first app the get an update, which is available now for anyone using the Windows 8 preview.

Here’s a rundown of the new features of each app that’s getting an update:

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 customisation, 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 customisation, 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

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