Default Windows 8 apps get updates prior to launch

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 5, 2012
Apps, Windows, Windows 8

Microsoft includes a set of default applications on the Windows 8 startpage after installation of the operating system. This includes the mail app, a desktop email client, a photo app to view and workw ith photos, maps, Bing, and SkyDrive among others. These apps, while handy at times, lacked features that some users thought they should ship with. A basic example is the mail app which does not support IMAP in its current version.

Some of these missing features and shortcomings are being added to those apps prior to the launch of the Windows 8 operating system according to a new blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog. Available updates are indicated by a number next to the Store tile on the startpage of the operating system. The screenshot below indicates that nine updates are available.

windows 8 store updates

Windows 8 is configured to download app updates automatically which you can change in the store settings. To access those, open the Charms Bar while in Store using Windows-C, click on settings, and there on App updates. Here you can change the behavior so that app updates are not downloaded automatically.

What's not happening is that apps get installed automatically on the system. This is a manual process and there does not seem to be an option available anywhere in the menus to automate it. While in store, click on the Updates (x) link on the top right corner of the screen.

This opens all apps with updates on a new page.

install app updates windows 8

You can change the default selection by right-clicking on tiles, or left-clicking on the select all or clear buttons at the bottom of the screen. A click on install will install all selected apps on the operating system.

All default apps will receive updates in the coming days, starting with the Bing app. Here are some noteworthy changes that the updates will add to the table:

  • Imap support for the Mail app
  • Search within SkyDrive, and renaming and moving folders and files
  • View photos and videos on network locations in the photos app
  • The Maps app gets improved navigation, a bird's eye view and improved customizations
  • Bing rewards integration
  • The Finance app gets videos, additional market exchanges
  • The News app addition content from partners such as the NYT and TWJ, an enhanced article reader, and news videos
  • The Sports app gets videos, slideshows, additional soccer leagues, and additional contents
  • The Travel app gets more news and magazine content, improved flight search and hotel listing pages
  • Hourly weather forecasts are coming to the weather app, plus high and low temps for the day and evening
  • Videos get closed captioning, search by actor or directory, and local currency report for purchases
  • The Music app gets new music services and music discovery in form of SmartDJ
  • In-game purchases are enabled for games

These updates improve the apps significantly. While that may not make a huge difference for desktop users who have better alternatives available, it may make one for tablet users especially if they are running Windows RT.


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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