Who needs Gmail? 5 built-in Windows 10 apps that do the job (with video)

Mail, Calendar, Maps, People and OneNote have grown into useful and feature-filled apps.

windows 10 ui
Thinkstock/Microsoft

The touch-friendly apps built into Windows 8 and Windows 10 (originally called Metro apps and now just called Windows apps) were, for a long time, roundly denounced by many reviewers as being underpowered -- and justifiably so. The first release of Mail in Windows 8, for example, didn't have threaded messaging, and the first release of Calendar made it confusing to do something as simple as changing the view to a day, week or month.

But over time, something surprising happened. After several updates -- and the merging of the touch-friendly and keyboard-based interfaces in Windows 10 -- some of Microsoft's built-in apps have become well worth using. If you tried and abandoned them in the past, and haven't bothered to check back, it's time to give them another try.

Here are five solid apps that ship with Windows 10, along with tips on how to use them. As a bonus, I've listed three special-purpose apps built into Windows you might want to try as well.

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