Microsoft updates Windows 8 apps & that’s good news for news readers and sports fans

by Doug Drinkwater

April 16 2013

The Bing News app now supports custom RSS feeds
The Bing News app now supports custom RSS feeds

Microsoft has updated five of its Bing apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT. The updates for Bing News, Finance, Sports, Travel and Maps bring about RSS news, offline reading and improved map directions among other things.

These improvements are a case of evolution rather than revolution, with Microsoft saying that the updates “make it easier to customize and personalize” the apps to your specific needs.

One of the more notable changes is the fact that Bing News now supports offline reading and RSS feeds, with the latter being a useful feature considering Google Reader is due to head into retirement in July. The News app also allows for greater customization, with users now able to tap and track specific story categories, topics or favoured news outlets.

Elsewhere and the changes are relatively minuet.  The Maps app now claims to serve up improved directions (for driving, walking and transit), traffic incident notifications and the ability to save or “pin” favorite destinations, while Finance shows real-time U.S stock updates and the Sports app supports 29 new leagues (taking the total up to 65 leagues across 10 different sports).

Furthermore, the Travel app now includes content from new sources like Lonely Planet, while Windows 8-using skiers and snowboarders will be pleased to learn that the Weather app can now source weather conditions at ski resorts in 24 different countries.

Five of the six Bing app updates are now available, although the refresh for the Weather app is expected to go live in the coming days.

All of these apps come pre-installed on Windows 8 machines, but updating them is very simple. Users will need to head to the Windows Store on their Windows 8 device and then click for text notification for updates in the top-right corner of the screen. They will then need to select Bing Apps and hit ‘Install Updates’.

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