Following the set of updates released last month, Microsoft is releasing today new updates for five of its Windows 8 core apps: News, Travel, Sports, Maps and Finance, and most of them are coming with new features.
The most noticeable changes are in the News app, now you’ll be able to add your custom RSS feeds from any website, lifting the restriction to the previous limited amount of sources (This new feature is clearly aimed to help users get rid off Google Reader, now that the company will retire the service in July).
There is a new Pin to Start option to send specific sections to the Start screen as a small live tile. Now you will also notice a larger image in the first featured story, an Offline Reading feature to stay up to date even without an internet connection, and a new Customize page is part of the update, where you can rearrange, remove or add categories to the front page.
News app now supports custom RSS feeds to help users get rid of Google Reader
Moving to the Maps app, powered by Bing, in this update Microsoft has incorporated a better local search option to easily find local restaurants, banks, hotels, movie theaters, and many other businesses around town by just doing a simple search. Track locations automatically and a new bird’s eye view option were also added in the update.
Furthermore the Maps Windows 8 app now integrates with the People app. If you choose one of your contacts using Maps and if the contact has some sort of location information in their profile, you’ll be able to see their location right in the map. Finally the Maps app also includes a Pin to Start option to send locations to the Start screen.
The Finance app was updated with various new tools: retirement planner, currency converter and mortgage calculator to enable you easily manage your cash.
The Sports and Travel app received updates as well, but it seems that they were only bug fixes and some slight improvements, and users will not see any new features.
Update: The Weather app also gets updated. A “new beautiful full-screen dynamically moving weather maps for your city or region.”And it also include categories like temperature, perception, radar, cloud cover, and satellite — The update is available today, April 14th.