Metro Applications and Sharing
The Windows 8 release comes with a bunch of sample applications that really show off how interesting this new interface can be. For instance, in the screenshot above we’re looking at the Picstream application, which pulls interesting images from Flickr. You can use the universal Win+Q shortcut key to open up the search pane for this application, type in anything, and find some interesting images that people have posted on Flickr.
Drill down into one of those images, however, and you can use the Win+C shortcut key we talked about earlier to pull up the Charms menu, and then use the Share option. On this PC running the preview, there’s two options for Facebook or Twitter, but one can assume over time you’ll have options for Email, IM, and any number of other sharing services.
Choose the Tweet@rama option, and you’re immediately shown a Tweet window where you can share directly on Twitter, without even leaving the application.
If you were to open up the Tweet@rama application and hit the Win+Q shortcut key, you’ll notice that just like in the Photo application, you can use the same search sidebar to search through your tweets as well. In fact, you could search through your photos just by clicking one of the other applications on the sidebar.
Want to read your Facebook feed directly from Metro? No problem, just open up the Socialize app, plug in your Facebook credentials, and start browsing through things like your News Feed…
But even more interesting is that you can easily browse through your photos. Here’s all my messy photo albums, for instance.
Drill down into one of them, and you can view all the pictures, download them, or even share them through another application.
There’s also a Feed reader application, which is pretty simple to use. Select your feeds or add them using the text box…
And then you’ll get a headline view, which is fairly boring…
Once you click through, however, you’ll get a very pretty reader view that scrolls across the screen from right to left. Assuming you’re looking at a full feed, of course.
Internet Explorer 10 and the Metro Interface
Launch Internet Explorer from the Metro screen, and you’ll be taken to a full-screen browser mode that’s quite unlike anything you’re used to. If you use the Win+Z keyboard shortcut to bring up the App bar, you’ll see each tab, and the address bar at the bottom.
You can use the Pin icon to create a new tile on the home screen for that web site, which is pretty useful for quickly launching your favorite sites.
Of course, if you were to launch Internet Explorer from the Taskbar, you’d get the regular desktop interface instead. After taking a quick spin around the browser, it feels roughly the same as IE9, so there’s not much new there to report at this time.
Keep reading to learn about the Windows 8 Task Manager, the new Control Panel, and a few other odds and ends.