When Windows Phone 8 was introduced, it seemed that Microsoft’s mobile platform will finally be able to shed its label of being starved of apps. In a perfect world, WP7 apps would have started getting updates for the new platform as soon as it was released, but that flurry of updates has somewhat belatedly begun just now. In the past week, we saw WP8 updates for Shazam and Adobe Reader, and now Microsoft has released a revamped version of MSN. The MSN app has been around on Windows Phone for a long time, and the current web version isn’t too bad either but if you still want a standalone app for the service on your device, the newly updated MSN might be a good option. The app offers all the news categories that are available on the MSN website, and you can also use it as a weather app now, thanks to the thorough data it offers on its main page.
MSN for WP8 has a nice interface, but the rest of the app could have been a bit better. Most parts of the app appear to be nothing more than a web wrapper around the MSN website but according to the app’s official page, this helps make MSN lightening fast.
Scroll through the app’s main page to view the different categories and segments that are usually shown on the MSN webpage. You can view all the stories listed under a section by tapping its heading, or simply by swiping across it horizontally if you don’t want to leave the main page. While reading an article or viewing a video, MSN offers sharing options that include SMS, email and social networks.
Apart from news, MSN also has a few additional useful features. There’s a weather tile built into the app, which can be used to view detailed weather info from multiple cities. You can also change units and go through stats like precipitation rate, minimum/maximum temperatures and weekly forecast.
Once you associate your Outlook account with the app, it lets you take a peek at your day’s engagements. There are also shortcuts for other services like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Bing Search and Bing Maps, but all of them just point users to respective links within Internet Explorer.
It is difficult to praise the new MSN app a great deal, but it is slightly better than using the service’s web version since it lets you pin a live tile to the Start screen, which frequently gets updated with images from the day’s latest stories. The newly updated version of this free app works only with WP8, and can be downloaded from the following link.