Microsoft confirms new apps to be added for Windows 8.1

Microsoft is finally offering some details about the upcoming Windows 8 free update, Windows 8.1, about a month before the planned release of its public preview. Microsoft's blog post about Windows 8.1 mentioned that it would release new in-house developed apps for Windows 8.1 but didn't go into much detail.

Engadget got a chance to see some of these new apps in action, and in so doing confirmed that Windows 8.1 will contain new calculator and alarm apps, as previously leaked builds of Windows 8.1 showed. Engadget's preview also revealed some more in-house apps.

One is Bing Food and Drink, which will offer cooks a way to find recipes, along with the ability to create a shopping list and more. One cool feature of the app is that it has a native "hands free" mode. It will apparently allow users who have an ordinary webcam installed on their PC to wave their hands so the app moves to the next page. This will come in handy when people are using their Windows 8.1 notebook or tablet while they are cooking, with their hands covered in all sorts of messy ingredients.

Another new app will be Bing Health and Fitness, which has been made to monitor a person's health. In addition to helping with nutritional and exercise programs, the app has been created to diagnose any health issues a user might be experiencing based on retrieving information from medical databases. Microsoft will also include an app called Reading List in Windows 8.1, designed to save content found online to your PC to read at a later time or offline; it will synchronise saved content across devices, with the functionality being added to Windows Phone 8 at some point in the future.

Engadget's preview of the new Windows 8.1 apps did not mention the Sound Recorder or Movie Moments apps that were seen in the early leaked builds of the OS. There's also no word on if there will be a Modern UI version of a File Manager app for Windows 8.1, which again was found in those leaked builds.

Source: Engadget

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It takes time for a company to get all of its products and services on the same page as Microsoft are trying to do, they are coming along and when they get there it will be worth the wait, sometimes I wish people would be a little more patient with this whole thing.

I just hope they do something better with the built-in Win 8.0 apps.... The Music app would need a big push... And Mail...

If you would have bothered to read the actual article you would have noticed they have completely rebuilt and designed the music app for 8.1

It's about time Windows gets a built in alarm clock but the two bing apps shouldn't be part of 8.1, they should simply be on the Store for people to download if they want them.

The camera thing is kinda cool. Now if they could only find a way to utilize the dormant iGPUs in all those Intel Processors in systems with discrete graphics.

I hardly use the apps that are currently there. What are some 'must have' apps that I would probably use? I still find everything to be much easier working from the desktop....

I don't use any Modern Apps regularly, sometimes to check whats out there and to see if its interesting. Although I do use some apps's there livetile for quick info.
Much faster to stay up to date on facebook, my mails, calendar and chats. But that's pretty much it. Not everyone uses Modern, its mainly optional if you work on the desktop. Don't get myself why people hate it so much.

I only use one, the Mail app.
Not very often though as I find myself going accessing Hotmail and Gmail though browser when I'm at the desktop.
And as the months past the app doesn't notify on new mail anymore.

All these months I think I've only browsed the Windows App Store less than 10 times

I find Modern pretty useless on a desktop PC.
If only they merged it with the Desktop on the PC.
Livetiles as widgets on the desktop like the Omnimo UI for Rainmeter.
Windowed Modern apps like that Stardock program.

_iamakii_ said,
Would be much more way cooler if all these Bing apps be available for Windows Phone as well. Oh, well.

The reading list is coming at least and I bet the others are on their way. I'd expect them for Blue.

FloatingFatMan said,
Yay! A calculator that fills my entire 24" screen! Fantastic! That will make my life SO much easier!

or you know, you could snap the calculator and 3 other applications. Whine some more.

FloatingFatMan said,
Yay! A calculator that fills my entire 24" screen! Fantastic! That will make my life SO much easier!

Bro, this app is going to be even better for me. 27" 2560x1440, u mad? I love the Windows 8 apps, makes me turn my head around the same height as Mount Everest, such a good workout!

FloatingFatMan said,

Some people have no sense of humour.

You have to be more clear with your jokes. There were people a few months ago that were completely serious with that very complaint when the calculator app first appeared.

FloatingFatMan said,

Some people have no sense of humour.

It is a bit tough to know what is a joke vs. a complaint when this site has turned into a whine-fest over every little thing such as "Whaaaa! The color of the tile for the music app is orange, I prefer a slightly darker orange to the one they use, so therefore Win8 and Microsoft has ruined my life and they are over as a company! Whaaaa!"

rfirth said,

You have to be more explicit with your jokes. There were people a few months ago that were completely serious with that very complaint when the calculator app first appeared.

Well, that was kinda why I added the smiley, but I guess some people just don't get it. To explain for the slower ones in this thread, I was poking fun at the W8 haters.

Personally, I use Windows 8 at home. Some nice improvements over Windows 7, but I really have no use at all for ModernUI apps. With 2 screens, I like to have lots of windows open so I can task hop easily. Forcing one or two to take up the whole area kills my usability.

FloatingFatMan said,

Some people have no sense of humour.


Usually a denotes sarcasm. :rollseyes: usually means you're rolling your eyes at the idea of it. You just sounded like one of many people that would actually **** and moan about having a fullscreen calculator and just ignore how it could actually be useful.

siah1214 said,

Usually a denotes sarcasm. :rollseyes: usually means you're rolling your eyes at the idea of it. You just sounded like one of many people that would actually **** and moan about having a fullscreen calculator and just ignore how it could actually be useful.

It might be useful if you have severe visual difficulties; but for most it'd be so honking huge that it'd just give you eye strain.

siah1214 said,

Usually a denotes sarcasm. :rollseyes: usually means you're rolling your eyes at the idea of it. You just sounded like one of many people that would actually **** and moan about having a fullscreen calculator and just ignore how it could actually be useful.

ffs bro calm down, he's messing around, even I understood that.

FloatingFatMan said
Yay! A calculator that fills my entire 24" screen! Fantastic! That will make my life SO much easier!
You do know that you can snap it to either side, rather than running it in full screen?

Shadowzz said,
Unles you have a ARM CPU and are running winRT.
WINKEY+R and type "calc.exe" and press enter, OMG A WINDOWED CALCULATOR LIKE PREVIOUS WINDOWS'

Huh??

You do realize that the above works exactly the same on Windows RT? Or do you think calc.exe doesn't exist and this is the first calculator for Windows RT?? Now if they remove the desktop calculator then I'll be annoyed. I don't know if the WinRT calculator will be more useful or not...

dtourond said,
You do know that you can snap it to either side, rather than running it in full screen?

But "snapped' is not the same of "windowed". I am not saying that the latter is better than the former though; both options are useful and both should be available.

This is really cool. Glad to see Microsoft is expanding on their built in apps (And I can't wait to use them on my Surface!)

Jimmy422 said,
This is really cool. Glad to see Microsoft is expanding on their built in apps (And I can't wait to use them on my Surface!)

More poorly made apps from Microsoft? hmm, maybe not. They really need to work on their existing apps and bring them on par with at least their webpage, but realistically they need to do what applications can do already. Otherwise, even Windows RT users are simply going to use the website rather then the apps... and that leaves the entire app ecosystem up in the air about its actual use, even more so on a desktop orientated system.

The Messaging hub, Photos hub and Mail in particular really need a big overhaul to bring them up to standard.... unless what they already have is the standard, and then I just want to cry for the future of computing.

Rich, useful apps are key. I think using Metro on the desktop could work, if this is done right. We need a notification center or better multi app multi tasking experience.

Windows 8 / RT is great for tablets. Far ahead of the others as far as multi tasking goes. It just doesn't have the platform maturity to compete.

If you read the blog about the 8.1 reveal, you'd see that they have worked to immensely improve multi-tasking.

And as for this line in the article: "There's also no word on if there will be a Modern UI version of a File Manager app for Windows 8.1," check out the official blog that you copied and pasted into an article and look at the SkyDrive app. Totally looks/sounds to be the modern file explorer to me.

valerius said,
So, any webcam can be Kinect light? Cool!

Yeah pretty much. My sister will find the Bing Food and Drink as well as the Bing Health and Fitness apps REALLY handy. She already uses her Surface for when she cooks.