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The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide

Apps: Productivity


Camera is a simple webcam app able to capture still shots, as well as video. It also has a timer, sliders for brightness and contrast, video stabilization, adjustable resolution, and Flickr settings.

The Camera tile is not a live tile.


The Calendar app is a full-screen calendar and appointment book tool. It opens in monthly view, but you can switch to weekly and daily views, too.

This one is a live tile. It displays the date as a single tile, and also includes upcoming appointments as a double-wide tile.


The Mail app is Windows 8's default email client.

Mail employs a three-column layout, similar to Outlook. The first column contains folders, the second lists email in the currently-selected folder, and the third (largest) column displays the contents of the message you choose.

The Mail tile displays the number of unread emails as a small tile, and additional information about the latest unread email when configured as a larger tile.


The Messaging app is the default messaging client in Windows 8, and it supports Windows Live Messenger as well as Facebook chat. The Messaging app is only a live tile when it's displayed in double-width, and it has the ability to push notifications to the lock screen.

We like this app's conversation bubbles, and Messaging fits nicely into a sidebar. Truth be told, though, the Windows 8 Skype app is better.


The People app basically functions as a unified address book. Be careful about where you choose to import contacts from because it's way too easy to end up with an unmanageable list of email contacts, Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and Twitter followers, all bundled together.

The small People tile isn't live, but the large tile displays a rotating assortment of your contacts' avatars.


Photos is the default Windows 8 image viewer. It's able to display local pictures, images on other devices, in SkyDrive, and the application supports Facebook and Flickr albums as well.

The live tile cycles through your pictures, regardless of whether it's a single- or double-width tile.


The Reader app is Windows 8's default PDF and XPS file viewer. The app bar contains tools for document search, two-page, one-page, or continuous view, open, save as, rotate, info, and close.