Tomorrow, Windows 8 and Windows RT’s Mail, Calendar and People apps will all receive updates in the Windows Store. This means that Windows 8 gets a little bit better! Here’s how the updates to the apps will break down.
Mail gets the most improvements of the three apps. It will add the ability to create, delete or rename folders from within the app, even if your email service isn’t a Microsoft service, like Gmail or Yahoo. You can also toggle flags, read by unread only and search for mail from the server (not simply the mail you’ve synced to your computer). Syncing should also be faster, and you can mark messages read (or delete them) from folders now.
Actually composing messages will be easier too. You’ll get contact suggestions based on the number of times you’ve emailed people, and the suggestions are tappable/clickable popups. That should be especially helpful for touch-enabled devices. You can add or edit hyperlinks now too. And drafts are autosaved now each time you exit a message.
Calendar was a much more finished app than Mail at launch, but it’s got some improvements too — and one big subtraction. First is a Work Week View, which focuses your attention on the Monday through Friday appointments. It’s also got some updated fonts and colours, and puts the current time and date on a marker in day and week views. You can also check other people’s availability for meeting times, email all attendees, forward invites and set up recurring events.
The subtraction is Google Sync support. It’s gone. That means you won’t be able to sync your Google Calendars to Windows 8 if you update the app. We’ve known that support for Google Sync was coming to an end, and that Windows Phone was at least looking at CalDAV support, but there’s no word on what Windows 8’s timeline looks like on that. So, if you rely on Google Calendars in the Windows 8 app, you’re going to want to hold off on updating for a while.
People doesn’t have any major updates, but you can filter the What’s New section by social network now, which is nice. The app also lets you post directly to friends’ Facebook walls, a feature that was insanely missing previously. Navigation is also a little clearer with new options when you bring up the app’s options pane.
No word! Perhaps the app that could use the most work (and partner additions), Microsoft hasn’t said diddly about upcoming improvements or additions. Too bad, because it’s one of the Windows 8 apps with the most potential, but it also has the most ground to make up.