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Windows Mail in Windows 8.1
The Mail app shipped with original Windows 8.0 was particularly bad, especially for Gmail users. That's all changed with Windows 8.1, as it includes a nicely updated Mail app.
The user interface and functionality of the app is good for all Windows 8.1 users, and the Gmail experience is vastly improved, too. It's not as full-featured as a dedicated Gmail app would be, but it's possible to do almost anything that can be done on a dedicated Gmail app.
Included in Windows 8.1
There are a few apps for working with Twitter in the app store, but they all fall short in one area or another. The official app from Twitter has recently been updated making it a solid performer for using the social network.
Using the Twitter app is nice on a Windows tablet, as the entire interface has been optimized for touch. There are occasional lags in operation but nothing overly aggravating. Everything that can be done on the Twitter web interface can be done in this app.
Free on the Microsoft Store
Snap view in Windows 8.1
The ability to work with two apps at once, aka snap view, has been greatly improved in Windows 8.1. The author's favorite use of snap view is demonstrated in the image above.
The Twitter app is put in the pane on the left and the IE web browser on the right. This allows surfing the web while keeping an eye on updates to Twitter. This also has a benefit when links are tapped in tweets on the left. The linked web site is opened in the browser pane on the right, making it possible to view the linked material while keeping Twitter open.
Another good use of snap view is keeping the Mail app open in one pane while doing something else in the pane on the other side. It's a good way to keep on top of work email.