Windows Store Weekly: The OneDrive and Microsoft Health apps are now universal

Windows Store Weekly is a weekly round-up of what's been going on in the world of Windows apps, from the most prominent and anticipated, to the bolted and patched, and the fresh and promising, while also scooping up leaks, both official and unofficial.

Another week has passed, and it’s time to get a roundup of the most important news from the world of Windows apps, some of which were lost in the sea of bytes from the Google I/O developer conference. Without further ado, let's get started.

First, let’s talk about the Windows Store. Those of you who are running the latest Anniversary Update preview build on PC and mobile can now get a taste of the new UI that will come with the official update this summer. The changes are quite significant and include a new layout for the main page, an improved app detail page, and a new download indicator that is simple and elegant.

If you are a developer looking to bring your classic desktop app to the Windows Store, you may be interested to know that Microsoft has recently announced the Desktop to UWP Packaging Project for Visual Studio "15", allowing you to play with the tool on Windows 10 build 14342.

Microsoft has also made the Feedback Hub app available to all Windows 10 users, recognizing the need for a way to get valuable feedback not only from the millions of enthusiasts that run Insider builds, but also from the majority of Windows 10 users which aren’t comfortable with running pre-release software.

Updated and bolted

Popular developer Rudy Huyn recently announced the 4.3 update for the Dropbox app, and sure enough, there’s also a nice visual changelog available – but here’s a quick rundown of what’s new:

  • Improved fullscreen mode: videos and images will take up the entire screen as expected
  • New UX for file actions: Managing your files and folders is now as simple as right-clicking and selecting an option from a flyout.
  • Cast your videos to another screen: There’s now a button in the video controls bar that allows you to stream videos from your Dropbox to any device that supports DLNA or Miracast.
  • Advanced comment notifications: Replying to comments no longer requires you to open the app, as you can do it from right from the notification.
  • Saving/Exporting multiple files at once is now easy to do and you can continue using the app while downloading.

Microsoft’s 3D builder app has also received an update, but it is only available for Windows Insiders. The changes include a new Office-style ribbon layout for the tools, support for multiple windows and printing to PDF, a new “step-by-step print dialog experience”, as well as the ability to build 3D objects from scratch or by importing a shape from the Insert tab.

For those of you who use the Tweet-It client for Twitter, the developer has recently updated the app to version 2.8.0, which includes quite a few changes to the user experience, as well as support for Bulgarian localization:

  • Search is now more powerful with rich abilities for fine-tuning
  • You can now save or delete any search query
  • Application will save your search history and sync it across all your devices
  • You can now pin search queries to start screen
  • Improved conversation view for tweets
  • Small trends UI changes
  • Built-in browser now has its own page in the settings
  • Small fixes and tweaks for built-in browser
  • You can set built-in browser to be closed when opening a page in a system browser
  • Video player will remember last set volume and will use it when started
  • Updated tile for profiles
  • When saving tweet to Pocket hashtags from it will be used as tags
  • Small fixes for notifications settings
  • When composing a tweet you can now choose profile (if you got more than one) to send it from
  • Added hashtags autocomplete (application will look for hashtags in your saved searches and search history)
  • Improved UI for mobile devices in landscape
  • Improved UI for Continuum
  • Improved UI for pop-up panels on mobile devices
  • Fixed refresh button visibility for mobile devices in landscape when more than one tab is visible
  • Added Bulgarian language

The Fitbit app received an update that adds support for native Bluetooth syncing for the Fitbit Alta fitness tracker on Windows 10 devices. If you’re not sure how to set up the syncing, look here for a step-by-step guide.

If you’re running the latest Windows 10 Insider build on a laptop with hybrid graphics, you should know that you can now play the beta version of Forza Motorsport 6 Apex, but keep in mind that there’s a long list of known issues. This week the game received an update that adds support for PCs that feature hybrid graphics, whereas previously you would get a message that you can’t play the game.

As always, there have been plenty of placebo updates this week in the form of performance tweaks and bug fixes, including:

New arrivals

As expected, the new OneDrive UWP app is now available for Windows 10 users. It is basically the phone version adapted for PC, and while it does offer features that are not available on the desktop sync client (such as restoring files and folders from the Recycle Bin), some of you are probably more interested in placeholders, which are rumored to make a return in the Anniversary Update, something that seems less likely as we inch closer to the release date.

Another app that was previously mobile-only that has come to PCs and tablets this week is Microsoft Health. The change has come along with the announcement of a new “Explore Tile” for the Microsoft Band 2 – which the company says is "perfect for tracking hikes, or even just a walk around the neighborhood". If you're familiar with the mobile Health app, the features are the same - but the UI could probably use a bit more work - it currently looks like a forced landscape mode of the phone UI.

The PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) has released four Windows 10 apps this week, which were built in collaboration with Microsoft for the PGA TOUR golfing events, where the association employs hundreds of volunteers to track tournament data. Not only that, but attendees are offered an app where they can quickly access real time stats and trends.

Fresh and promising

We’ve already seen the release of several AAA PC games in the Windows Store – such as Forza Motorsport 6: Apex beta, Quantum Break, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Rise of the Tomb Raider - but if you’re a mobile Windows gamer, you should check out Usama Jawad’s take on some of the best games you can play on Windows 10 Mobile.

Things to come

According to a report from WindowsBlogItalia, Microsoft is looking to revamp the UI on the Wallet app for Windows 10 Mobile, as well as upgrade the functionality that will make adding and organizing cards a better experience. Another app that Microsoft is said to also be working on, is an ID & Filter app that will probably replace the current Block & Filter app on Windows 10 Mobile.

There is still some functionality missing from the Windows Camera app, but there are reports that an upcoming update will bring some of it back. More specifically, the new version will include support for capturing panoramas, something that was possible with the Lumia Panorama “lens” – at least until Microsoft decided to end support for it and remove it from the Windows Store last year, before having the functionality baked into the Windows Camera app.

A few days ago, Microsoft announced that Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition is coming to Windows 10 later this year. This will allow you to create your custom maps on PC, and it will support mouse and keyboard, 4K resolution, as well as publishing to Xbox One.

While some of you probably expect Halo 5: Guardians (and perhaps Halo: The Master Chief Collection) to eventually come to PC, this remains just a dream for now – but perhaps Microsoft isn’t ruling it out, we’ll just have to wait and see.

There’s one last news bit that you may have missed this week. A video was spotted on Reddit of what appears to be Windows 10 Mobile running on a Nexus 5X device, as well as some apps. While the idea of building a Windows 10 ROM for Android devices is currently only considered by Xiaomi, it would be interesting and perhaps even mildly helpful for Microsoft’s mobile strategy at a time when its market share in the smartphone space is under 1%.

After all, if you can’t convince people to buy a Windows 10 Mobile device, it might be worth a try to at least allow people to test a Windows 10 ROM on their existing Android devices – as long as they meet the hardware requirements to run it. It’s certainly better than waiting until spring 2017, when the Redmond company is rumored to unveil a “Surface Phone”.

We'd like to know: Would you like the ability to install a Windows 10 ROM on your Android phone? Let us know in the comments section below.

This isn't everything that happened in the world of tech this week, so if you're looking for the big picture, our 7 Days feature will take you through a tour of all things Android, connected sexercise, and Windows phones on the wane, as well as other stories that you may have missed. There is also plenty of discussion brewing in the forums on a wide range of topics, so head over there and join the buzz.

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