Food & Drink and Health & Fitness are more than just the basic default apps. They’re fully interactive and immersive, taking full advantage of the Windows 8 Modern design. Food & Drink even offers a hands-off mode that lets you use gestures in the kitchen while you’re cooking, whereas Health & Fitness let’s you diagnose potential issues you may be facing from your symptoms. When using these two apps together, you can truly take control of your health and diet in your every day life right from your Windows 8 PC or Windows RT device.
Overview: Food & Drink and Health & Fitness Apps
These two new apps are more exhaustive than the other apps added in Windows 8.1. Let’s take a look at them and see just how they work for you.
Food & Drink
Food & Drink not only lets you store your own recipes, create meal plans and shopping lists, but it also lets you browse through a variety of food and drink recipes from others. This can be a comprehensive way to manage not only your meal preferences, but also digitize your recipe library.
Collections allow you to create categories for you to add recipes to, either your own or ones you find within the app. This can be a helpful way to create a digital record of your recipe collections.
If we click on a recipe, like the featured one of the day, we’ll be given a breakdown of things about it, such as where it came from, difficulty, prep time and ingredients.
If we scroll to the right, we’ll see the detailed instructions on how to follow the recipe.
Food & Drink integrates the webcam or video player functions of tablets and PCs by introducing Hands-free mode.
Hands-free mode allows you to use your hands to scroll back and forth through a recipe. This can be extremely beneficial when cooking because if you have something on your hands, you don’t always want to touch your computer, tablet or cookbook. By being able to scroll through a recipe while you’re cooking, you can easily stay on top of things without making a mess everywhere.
From any recipe in Food & Drink, you can add it to your Collections by clicking “Add to Collections.”
You can also add it to your Meal Planner by clicking on “Add to Meal Planner.”
You’ll be able to choose the day of the week, and then if necessary, head back to the Meal Planner to drag and drop it on another day of the week.
Food & Drink also lets you create shopping lists. From a recipe, you can click “Add to Shopping List” to add all the ingredients needed to one. You can then edit, print and add to your shopping lists at any time.
From the main screen of the app, you can click “Add a Recipe” to add one of your own recipes.
You can name it, add details, add ingredients and even add a picture or take one yourself for the recipe to give it a visual feel.
You are warned that any recipes you add yourself will be lost upon upgrade of the app.
Also, from the main screen, you can right-click to open more menus.
From here, you can browse through recipes, tips and techniques, wines, cocktails and the other features of Food & Drink.
The app has a variety of recipes to browse and search through.
You can narrow down the results by a variety of filters which makes it easy to find something good to cook no matter your mood.
It also has an area to learn tips and techniques, starting with the beginner level and working your way up to more advanced cooking methods.
You’re also given a huge wine and cocktail list that works similar to the recipes you browse through.
The Food & Drink app is more than I ever thought it could be, to be honest. I’ve run into no issues since playing with it, and it’s so comprehensive I actually could start using this in my daily cooking life.
Health & Fitness
Health & Fitness, to be honest, surprised me even more than the Food & Drink app. The level of complexity and the amount of features utilized in this app can truly help someone track fitness levels and improve upon what they may already be doing. While this app won’t help everyone, it certainly tries.
When you first open Health & Fitness, you’ll be given a look at some recent headlines on the topic.
To the right, you’ll see a list of functions the app can do.
We’ll start with Diet Tracker.
This area of Health & Fitness allows you to keep tabs on what you eat and drink for the day. You can use the HealthVault service to sync the data with mobile devices so you can stay on top of your diet tracking.
The Nutrition and Calories area lets you look up statistics on any number of foods, even popular things you’d find at fast food restaurants.
You can even add those items to your favorites if it’s something you eat or drink a lot and compare it to other items.
The Exercise Tracker works similar to how the Diet Tracker works.
You can keep tabs on the amount of calories you’re burning by exercising. This data also syncs through HealthVault so you can keep track of it on the go.
Exercises is a truly remarkable addition to the Health & Fitness app. It lists a variety of exercises utilizing exercise equipment, body parts and difficulty.
If you click on any exercise, you’ll be given a breakdown of the exercise in a visual format, including pictures and a video so you can do it properly.
Health Tracker, another area that can be synced with HealthVault, lets you track your health stats, such as weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Symptoms opens a symptom checker that lets you choose your sex, then choose an area of your body you may be having an issue with.
You can then choose the symptoms related to that body part to narrow down what might be causing an ailment. While this is no substitute for going to a doctor and getting a proper checkup
Drugs lets you lookup information on drugs you may use on an everyday basis or might be prescribed to you.
This ranges from well-known drugs to narcotics to over the counter pills like Aspirin.
This can be helpful to look at side effects, conflicts and other issues that might arise from taking a drug.
Conditions lets you look up conditions the same way you would drugs.
You can read text, see pictures and learn more about a pre-existing condition or a newly diagnosed one.
From any screen within Health & Fitness, you can right-click the background to open its drop down menu.
You can access all the sections we’ve gone through and take a look at two more: Fitness Videos and 3D Human Body.
Fitness Videos gives you a wide array of exercises to do that can be done without equipment or with very minimal space.
3D Human Body gives you an interactive look at the human body in its male or female form.
You can get views from a variety of ways, such as skeletal, muscular and respiratory systems.
Just like the Food & Drink app, Health & Fitness doesn’t disappoint anyone when it comes to its level of complexity and design.
As you can see, these two apps needed some more time to truly show what they could do. The addition of Health & Fitness and Food & Drink to Windows 8.1 will add a rich user experience to computer users who like to cook and keep themselves in shape.
You can try them out today and see just how they can work on their own as well as together. Learn how to install the Windows 8.1 Preview on a partition or a virtual Machine.
Please Note: Windows 8.1 is a preview of the unfinished upgrade for Windows 8. Bugs, issues and other nuances might pop up either in our dealings with the OS or yours before it’s finalized by Microsoft for release. Let us know if you have any issues, so we can help find answers for you and get Microsoft to address them on either end.