Windows 8 Release Preview is now out and with it we see a very similar OS to what we saw last time, though it is admittedly a bit more refined in its design. While Aero is still there, and will be until the final release, Metro looks a bit crisper and Microsoft has given us a few new apps, three of which are part of the “Bing” line.
Without further ado, let’s take a look:
One such new app is the “Sports App”, which acts a hub for sports related news, schedules and player/team stats. This app has tons of information already in it and can be easily customized to add more. There are several different leagues and sports tracked such as the MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL.
The Sports app continues to follow the simplistic app style that we’ve seen with many other news and information apps in Windows 8. Is that a good or a bad thing? Honestly, that depends on who you ask. The problem with many of the apps out there is that they just throw a few columns and pictures together, calling it good. For the most part though, this seems to work with the new Bing apps.
Finally a Bing-based Travel app has made its way to Windows 8 in the Release Preview. This new app has a top bar for booking flights and hotels and viewing various destinations. The front page also includes a variety of ‘featured’ travel destinations. As you can see, all of the Bing Apps have a pretty similar look and feel.
The problem, at least in my humble opinion, is that these apps really don’t offer anything that I can’t already do just fine from my regular browser.
The news app has a “main story” on each page alongside tons of categories such as business, entertainment and other general news. The app bulls from other major news sites and outlets, from websites to newspapers. It breaks them down, categories them and indexes them. As you can see, little change between this one and the two others from Bing.
Right now, Windows 8 apps tend to stay on the very basic side, will this change? Honestly, I think Metro is designed to simplify information and present the more complex information in a traditional browser, or on desktop. This should work fine on desktops and laptops, but considering the limitations of the Windows RT desktop, I’m not sure about ARM Metro just yet.
While Android and iOS have some basic layout apps like this, they also have apps that are much more technical and advanced than we’ve seen so far on Metro. Does this mean the RT/Metro language isn’t capable of more advanced, feature-heavy apps yet? I can’t say I know much about the new Metro development scene, since I’m not much of a programmer, but my bet is that it certainly can have more complex apps, we just haven’t seen it yet.
Overall, between the three previews we’ve seen Metro apps evolve quite a bit, but its coming down to the gun now. There are still many apps I’d like to see that haven’t yet surfaced, but the time will come soon enough. What do you think of the new Bing apps? Share your thoughts below.