One of the more intriguing features of Windows 8 is the ability for applications to add themselves as a search provider. This means you can enter a search phrase in Windows 8 and have results pulled from various apps instead of from the operating system itself. While the Windows 8 Store currently does not have many apps in it, there are several that show off the search integration nicely. Here are five of them.
Note: This list is also available as a photo gallery.
1: WikipediaI would say that roughly half the Web searches I do are really just shortcuts to get to Wikipedia. With the Windows 8 Wikipedia application (Figure A), it is easy for me to do this without going to a Web browser. I am taken straight to where I want to be instead of needing to first go to search results and then clicking the Wikipedia link at the top.
2: AmazonIf I'm not looking something up on Wikipedia, there is a good chance that I want to find it on Amazon, to research the price or which model to buy. The Amazon search in Windows 8 (Figure B) makes it easy for me to hand my money to Amazon.
The Cookbook application by Bewise (Figure C) is a visually impressive application. Looking up food and recipes in it makes me hungry! The fact is, I eat three meals a day like most folks, which gives me three opportunities to try something new and interesting. Quickly finding new foods or recipes for old favorites is a joy with this app.
4: Appy GeekAppy Geek (Figure D) searches the tech media and does it nicely. It presents the results as a convenient set of pictures and blurb text on the left, with the bulk of the screen for the results. This is a very convenient way to determine whether the results you found are what you are looking for.
5: StumbleUponStumbleUpon's search is unique, in that it does not provide you with a list of results, it takes you directly to a result that fits your interests (Figure E). This is a fun way to discover new things, much like you can get lost in the Wikipedia "rabbit hole," like I often do.
Justin James is an OutSystems MVP, architect, and developer with expertise in SaaS applications and enterprise applications.