If you're familiar with Windows Phone, you know that this system presents a dual view user experience, with a primary screen called the Start screen that is filled with pinned tiles and a secondary screen called All Apps that lists every single app installed on the device. In the Windows 8 Developer Preview, however, only the Start screen was readily available. To get to All Apps, curiously, you needed to instantiate a search.
Guess what just got a lot easier?
In the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft has fixed All Apps, making it much easier to access and, as important, making it even more useful than the similar feature in Windows Phone.
To access All Apps from the Start screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the new App Bar and then tap the All Apps button. (With the keyboard, you can tap WINKEY + Z. Or, with a mouse, just right-click the Start screen.)
The new All Apps interface, shown below, includes a few improvements, too.
First, as you install new applications, the All Apps screen will segregate each of the app's various executables into groups so that they're together. As you can see above, there are groups for internal items (Windows Accessories) as well as applications that were installe separately by the user (Microsoft Office).
Also, the presentation is denser than it was in the Developer Preview, providing more apps onscreen at once.
Microsoft tells me, however, that one more change is coming. What's missing, currently, is a way to easily get back to where you just were. So between the Consumer Preview an RTM, Microsoft will add an App Bar to the interface with a button to go back.
Note that you can still search for apps as before, and that's true whether you're in the Start screen or the All Apps view. To start a search, simply start typing any letter.