Microsoft may have finalized its Windows 8.1 update, but the company insists it's still working on last minute bug fixes, feature additions, and more. Microsoft is working on a number of services and app updates between the finalization period (RTM) and the October 18th general availability release date. Updates to the built-in Windows 8.1 Bing search, Bing apps, and the Camera app are all planned.
Bing search will be updated to include additional hotels and restaurants search categories. On the app side, Bing Food and Drink will be updated to include instructional videos from world renowned chefs and 100,000s of new recipes with new guides on cooking meals. Bing Finance will be updated to allow users to connect to a portfolio directly and make trades within the app. Bing Travel is getting additional user generated photos from Trover and Michellin, and Bing Sports will be updated with additional real-time live events and over 20 more international leagues.
Photo Loop lets you rewind photos on Windows 8.1
Perhaps the most interesting addition to Windows 8.1 that Microsoft is readying is a new camera feature. Microsoft calls it Photo Loop and it's essentially identical to BlackBerry 10's photo rewind feature. Unfortunately it requires new camera hardware that supports the feature, and the Surface 2 and other tablets this holiday season will ship with capable cameras. When you open the Camera app on Windows 8.1 with a compatible device it will start to instantly take pictures from the moment it's loaded. While you won't see it taking pictures, it acts as a temporary buffer so you can use a radial menu to rewind a photo where someone may have blinked or looked away. Other compact cameras also have the feature, but it's a nice addition to Windows 8.1.
All of the updates will go live in the Windows Store on October 18th, and Microsoft is planning to update its services in the days before the release to light up the additional features. Some Windows 8 users will start to see the Windows 8.1 on October 17th depending on regions, but it will be available in retail outlets from October 18th onwards.