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Windows 8.1 to feature improved built-in apps and improved Windows Store

Windows 8.1

Earlier today, Microsoft offered the world a glimpse into the upcoming Windows 8.1 update for Windows 8. While everyone is hyped up for the return of the Start button (well, just those who missed it), Microsoft also revealed some other improvements to Windows 8 via this new update.

Microsoft revealed that all the built-in apps in Windows 8, such as Photos, Mail, SkyDrive, Camera, Music, and Video apps, will be improved with the Windows 8.1 update. For example, the updated Photos app will have editing features that allow users to quickly edit or adjust photos. The Music app has been completely redesigned to help pick and play music from a collection. Microsoft plans on going in depth in the near future with details on all planned updates for these built-in apps.

There will also be new built-in apps called Reading List, Bing Food & Drink, and Bing Health & Fitness. The Reading List app allows you to save items so you can read it later, pretty self explanatory. The Food & Drink app is pretty much a recipe app while the Health & Fitness app allows you to monitor your exercise routines and your overall health.

Microsoft has also improved the Snap feature for apps in Windows 8.1. For example, users can resize apps to any size they want and share the screen between two apps or have up to three apps on each screen. In an effort to increase productivity and multitasking, you can have multiple windows of the same app snapped together!

The Windows Store will also see an improvement in Windows 8.1, featuring more information on apps as well as new releases and picks for users on the Store’s homepage. The app listing will be much more descriptive and offer “related apps” to help with app discovery. Microsoft has also added a search option to the upper right hand corner for an easy way to find an app you want. Microsoft also pointed out that app updates are installed automatically in the background!

Microsoft is set to release a preview build of Windows 8.1 this June, along with detailing more about the update during the Build 2013 developer conference. Stay tuned!

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