Updated Windows 8 Mail, Calendar and People app, plus Solitaire available now

As we previously reported, Microsoft has now pushed out the updates for the Mail, Calendar and People Modern apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT users, The apps were supposed to be released on Tuesday but Microsoft apparently decided to release the apps ahead of time.

The apps bring a number of new features for each of Microsoft's in-house developed apps. The majority of the changes have been put into the Mail app, which now adds the ability for users to create, rename and delete email folders from directly inside the app, along with flagging any emails that are deemed important. The Calendar app has received a UI makeover and the People app now lets users post message to the Facebook walls of their friends.

Along with the Mail, Calendar and People apps, Microsoft has also pushed out a new update for its Microsoft Solitaire Collection game for Windows 8 and RT. The change notes state that the free app now adds a premium subscription that removes all advertisements, and adds bonus daily challenge rewards  and game boosts. There are also some new daily challenge leaderboards, new Wild card or Extra deal boosts in the TriPeaks and Pyramid modes, a way to export custom themes and share them with friends and more.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Solitaire etc used to be playable in a window. Another victim of the fullscreen-only mentality that is so adverse to desktop users.

You can play Solitaire in a window if you purchase Stardock's ModernMix utility - you can download it for free and try it out. Like Stardock's Start8 and Decor8 utility it brings back some of the functionality the Microsoft removed in Windows 8. Perhaps Microsoft will put some of these functions back with Windows Blue (or a later update) but I've heard rumors that Microsoft is looking to doing away with the desktop altogether.

Also I've noticed with the People app, you can now tap the letters to access the jump list. I believe before the only way to do it was pinch to zoom.

One thing that has improved on the mail app on Google accounts is the support for 2factor authentication.
No more switching to a browser to generate a special password for the app.

Anyone get the updated Mail on Win 2012 Server? I don't get an update notification, and if I manually uninstall Mail, then reinstall from the store, I seem to get the old one.

I'm getting crash after crash. The app hangs often when switching between IMAP accounts. Downloading messages as they arrive for my university account no longer works at all.

You can add a specialized outlook.com email to the mail app don't know if this is new or if I accidentally used hotmail.com when I first set it up.

I wonder if the fixed the graphics corruption in Solitaire Collection? I notice when I try to play Solitaire the the graphics are corrupted.

I also had an update for Xbox Smartglass... the release notes say -

'Various performance enhancements and feature updates, including the addition of support for Internet Explorer on Xbox 360 and rich interactive experiences that can show new content related to what you're watching on your TV at the moment.'

I honestly wish that I didn't have to have 3 extra apps installed to use one. Being forced to install Mail, Calendar, People and Messaging just to use Mail is a bit over the top.

I think the problem is very technical. Because of the natures of Windows RunTime, data cannot be shared between apps that easily (Contacts Data). The only way for apps to talk to one another is Share Charms or Pickers. To make Contacts information running around the apps smoothly, as well as taking care crucial syncing task into one for power conserving, Microsoft has made these app very exceptional and bundle them into one.

Note the following:
GMail and Google App Mailboxes are now connected over IMAP. Even if you had your account setup before January 30th which your Exchange connection should be unaffected, will now be switch over IMAP.
Google Calendar is not compatible with Calendar anymore, your Google Calendar will be remove and there is no option to add it again. Hopefully an upcoming update with CalDav support will re-enable the connection.
Google Contacts will continue to appear in the People Hub as they appear today.

GMail has defaulted to IMAP (in my case) since Outlook 2010 (Windows) and 2011 (OS X) - both of which support IMAP4 better, and both were originally configured to use POP3 by default. (Outlook is, in fact, the only IMAP4 client I've ever used with GMail.) The official Twitter app for Windows 8 (and MetroSocial) got updates this round as well.

I still haven't been prompted yet. I cannot wait, though, to get my hands on these new apps. Love the changes I'm seeing. It would be great to bring changes and updates of this scale more often, however, and to more apps; namely: Music, Games, and Video.

Mulsivaas said,
I still haven't been prompted yet. I cannot wait, though, to get my hands on these new apps. Love the changes I'm seeing. It would be great to bring changes and updates of this scale more often, however, and to more apps; namely: Music, Games, and Video.

You can check for updates from within the App store/charms section/settings/App Updates and force it yourself. I see that it's available.

In the Store, go into Settings, select App Updates, then check for updates.

Gah: that'll teach me for not refreshing the page after 1 hour. Sorry, already been posted

ZipZapRap said,
In the Store, go into Settings, select App Updates, then check for updates.

@briangw @ZipZapRap Thanks for the advice, but I had already done that, and they were not appearing. They are now, however. And on top of Messenger, Calendar, People, and Mail and the Solitaire Collection, other apps to receive updates were TapTiles, Mahjong, and Minesweeper.

It's much better! A huge improvement over the apps before. Not as feature rich as a full blown mail client like Outlook but definitely works great for mail on the go. People app is much more responsive, and the calendar app is much more readable. They did good work here.

MVD said,
Why does that read like official PR

You sound like a troll who can't accept people who have honest opinions.