News just got in that the Windows 8 store hit 400 apps in the Release Preview of the operating system. This may not seem like much but users have to consider that this is just a preview of the operating system, and that the store currently does not accept paid apps at all.
Popular auction company eBay has just released a Metro app for Windows 8 that brings part of the eBay experience to the Metro interface. When you first launch the eBay app after installation you see a lots of whitespace, the list of daily deals, and buttons linking to messages, sign in, buying or watching parts of the app. Most features require you to sign in to your eBay account to make use of them. Only two features are available without logging in, and those are the deals listing and search.
If you look closely, you will notice that search is not really displayed here. This is one of the things that Windows 8 users have to understand to use the operating system effectively. If you do not see a search option in an app, you can still search that app using the operating system's Charms bar.
The big issue here is usability. If you do not know that you can use the Charms Bar search to search in apps, you may miss out on the feature completely. The majority of Windows 8 shopping apps for instance ship without a button or link to a search option.
The search results are displayed in the app with options at the bottom to sort and filter results based on condition, price and other factors.
Individual items are displayed with little details in the app, but with an option to switch to the eBay website to open the full auction listing there.
What you do not get in the app are the seller's description, additional screenshots, the seller's location, shipping options or item specifics.
So how usable is the eBay app for Windows 8? If you do not sign in, it is not really offering anything that you can't get faster on eBay directly. When you sign in though, you find useful information displayed to you after all including new messages, items that you are watching, buying or selling, and a list of past searches that you have run on the site.
One thing that is not ideal in my opinion is that the eBay app on the start page is not displaying any contents whatsoever. You do not see information about items where someone outbid you, new messages, or notifications when an auction that you are watching or bidding on is close to an end.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.