Microsoft is working on updates for its in-built Windows 8 apps. The company will release updates for many of the apps included with the release to manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8, delivered to manufacturers and to MSDN and TechNet subscribers in August. The company announced on its official blog that it has started rolling out updates for the various apps Windows 8 comes with.

These app updates will also be available to manufacturers to include by default with PCs shipped in the future. Those who have already installed Windows 8 RTM can get the updates from the Store app. The Store tile will notify you when updates are available, and you can open it and click the updates link in the top right corner to see the list, and install the ones you want.

Windows 8

Windows 8 apps being updated.

The Bing app is the first app to get the update. Microsoft will be rolling out updates for the rest of the in-built apps until October 26. The apps that would be updated include SkyDrive, Mail, Calendar, People and Messaging, Photos, Maps, Bing, Finance, News, Sports, Travel, Weather, Video Music and Games. Among some of the more interesting updates for the various apps is the ability to purchase videos in local currencies, new games, improved customisation, including custom pushpins and roaming options along with integration with Bing and travel apps for the Maps app, and the ability to search within SkyDrive.

Microsoft is going all out with the Windows 8 launch drawing close. The company recently rebranded the Windows Phone Marketplace as the Windows Phone Store. Microsoft also revamped the Windows Phone website. The rebranding of Windows Phone Marketplace to Windows Phone store has probably been undertaken to streamline the user experience between the Windows 8 Store and Windows Phone Store. The two even share the same Store icon.

The Windows Phone site has been renovated to feature a cleaner design and new menu options. The Marketplace menu option has been replaced by ‘Apps+Games’ to make it easier for new users to know where to download apps from.

Along with the rebranding, the Windows Phone Store also sports a few changes like improved app search, smarter app lists, some censorship to make racier apps less visible, and the ability to report an app.

The Windows Phone Store’s app search feature has been overhauled to depend on Microsoft’s Bing search engine for results. App search now finds apps even if you make spelling mistakes or typos — for example, “Facebok” instead of “Facebook” – and it also shows relevant app results for your searches. The search engine now also sorts search results based on genre – for instance, you can type in 'productivity' to see apps related to time management, making lists, etc.

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