Windows 8: Built-in Apps & the Power of the Cloud

People App

People App

The People app can be viewed as an aggregator for all your social networks, or as Microsoft puts it, a 'fully connected address book'. That's because when you connect your Microsoft account to services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, your contacts from these networks will also show up in the People app. For the nerds among us, this is possible by way of standards and APIs such as Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), OAuth, and REST. Through the People app, you can quickly drop your contacts an email, see their status updates, and comment on their social activities and photos. Choose 'What's new' to see a summary of the latest happenings across your social networks. You can also drill down to a single contact, and see what he or she is up to lately. But what if you've the same person listed in two or more different networks? The People app will try to link them up, and present them in a single contact card.

Again, don't be mistaken that only the built-in apps like Mail and Messaging have access to the contact list. Other apps too can take advantage of it too. For example, since the People app supports the Share 'contract' (as a target), if you were to chance upon an interesting article in Internet Explorer, you can share it on Facebook or Twitter through this app that's listed in the Share Charm.

All in all, the People app is the best Modern-style app on Windows 8 by Microsoft so far.

Facebook, Hotmail, Twitter, Outlook, LinkedIn, and Google accounts are supported in the People app.

Under the People view, contacts are arranged alphabetically. For people you can care more about, you can 'favorite' them so that they appear at the front of the list. Or better yet, pin them to the Start screen!

Select a contact to bring the personal contact card. Here, you can see all the contact's contact information, and things that he or she has posted.

Choose 'What's new' to keep yourself up to date with the latest happenings across your social networks. You can 'like' and comment on a Facebook post, and retweet or reply to a tweet. To open a link, just tap on it. But like all Modern-style apps that present content, be prepared to keep scrolling horizontally.

The Me view lets you see and edit your own contact information. You can also see your own What's new feed, pending requests, and photos you've posted on configured accounts.

The People app works great as the secondary app in snap multi-tasking mode too: you can focus on your work, and keep track of the latest happenings on your social networks at the same time.

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