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The Windows 8.1 build 9471 has introduced major updates to the Mail, Calendar and Photos apps. In this post we look at the changes introduced to the apps.

Windows 8.1 App Updates: Mail, Calendar and Photos

windows-8.1-upgrades-default-apps

The Windows 8.1 leaked build 9471 has introduced major updates to the Mail, Calendar, Photos and the Messaging app. We’ll cover the Messaging app shortly, but for now, let’s take a look at what you can expect for the default apps in Windows 8.1.

The Mail, Calendar and Photos app have included updates to its look, feel and functionality. The Messaging app has been converted to a fully-fledged Skype-infused messaging app for Windows 8.1, a promise Microsoft has claimed would occur for months. The Help & Tips app was introduced in this build, too.

Windows 8.1 App Updates

Let’s take a look at the Windows 8.1 app updates to Mail, Calendar and Photos. Messaging has become Skype, fully integrated with multi-instant message integration which is a much-anticipated change for Windows 8 users.

Mail

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The Mail app already had been updated in the original release of the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview but now it’s seen an even bigger update. In fact, its functionality and speed have improved far beyond what current Windows 8 users are utilizing now.

The new default Mail app includes the following all new functionality:

  • Drag and drop support
  • Pin mail folders for easy access on the Start Screen

Calendar

windows-8.1-calendar-app

The Calendar app has seen a complete overhaul. When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 in October 2013, it’ll be like using a whole new app. You have more options to display events, along with an easier time creating new ones. You also can use a customized background for your Calendar to personalize it as you wish.

Unfortunately, the leaked build for Windows 8.1’s Calendar app bugs out a lot and won’t display events properly. It also freezes, then crashes almost every 90 seconds or so. Hopefully the next update will fix this issue.

Photos

windows-8.1-photos-app

Photos saw the least amount of cosmetic changes, but the ability to import from mobile devices was finally added to the app. This feature was missing from the get go, leaving Microsoft fans scratching their heads. It’s a welcome addition, albeit late to the Windows 8 party.

Troubleshooting Windows 8.1 Default App Issues

For now, we found the Calendar and Photos apps to be particularly buggy in this build. The Mail app worked like a champ, though. Since this is a leaked build of Windows 8.1, chances are Microsoft will not address or offer any tips to troubleshoot. In our experience with this build, restarting the apps often fixed the issues.

Conclusion

The upgrades to the default apps in Windows 8.1 Build 9471 is a step up from what came originally when Windows 8 hit the market. These are welcome changes and will really help improve the functionality of apps Microsoft wants you to try from the start. The default Mail app is one of our favorites to begin with, so we welcome those changes.

Please Note: Windows 8.1 Build 9471 is a leaked and unofficial release of the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview. If you’ve installed it, proceed with caution. You’ll run into issues with apps and other areas that Microsoft will not support for the time being. You’ve been warned!