Bing Mobile

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Bing Mobile
Bing logo
Bing Mobile.jpg
Bing for mobile application on Windows Phone 7
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release 5.1.2010.5040 / November 5, 2010; 4 years ago (2010-11-05)
Operating system Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS, iOS, BREW, Android, T-Mobile Sidekick, Series 30+, Series 40, Nokia Asha platform
Type Web search engine, map application
License Freeware (Ad-supported)
Website m.bing.com

Bing for mobile (formerly Live Search Mobile) is a search tool for handheld mobile devices from Microsoft as part of their Bing search engine. It is designed for mobile device displays. Bing Mobile is built into Windows Mobile and Windows Phone as proprietary software, accessed via the Search key on Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices. It is also available on Windows Phone 8.1 (and integrated with Microsoft Cortana where available), and can be downloaded for other platforms, including iOS and Android.

There are three ways Bing can be accessed on mobile devices:

  • Mobile browsing: m.bing.com
  • Bing mobile application
  • Bing 411

Windows Phone[edit]

With the launch of Windows Phone the new operating system included the Bing Hub, a centralised hub for contextual web searches and Bing Maps for navigation built in which gained some additional features such as showing users real-time traffic updates, street-view photos, 3D graphics and directions. To make Windows Phone hardware more uniform Microsoft requires all Windows Phones feature a dedicated "Search button" that opens up Bing Mobile.[1]

With Windows Phone 7.5, the first major update to Windows Phone Microsoft included several new features to the Bing Hub including the new Bing Vision application that allows users to scan QR Codes, books, price tags, and various other items but unlike Google Goggles can't scan any object due to its limited functionality, other than scanning objects Bing Vision comes with a built in version of the Bing Translator that can scan texts and translate it into the phone's language, Engadget did a test they scanned the back cover a book and it only picked up about 90 percent of the words in the summary after the text was found, Bing Vision's translation feature supports 26 languages.[2] Bing Maps also received new features namely the Bing Local Scout which takes a look at businesses around the user's location and gives them a list of local restaurants, bars and shopping centres. The Bing Hub can also open up Bing Local Scout and got a new feature addition in Windows Phone 7.5 called Bing Audio, a service similar to Shazam which can recognise songs and show the album in the Zune Marketplace. A notable difference between the Bing Hub and the website is the lack of Bing Travel.[3]

With the launch of Windows Phone 8 Microsoft didn't include any major updates to the Bing Hub, but Microsoft later included a new Bing suite of applications. Bing News a customisable news aggregator which features headlines and videos of breaking news and allows users to track specific story categories, topics, or news sources. Bing Sports which shows sports headlines and games featuring 8 categories: recent scores, top sports headlines, videos, photos, schedules, standings and statistics. Bing Weather which in up-to-date conditions, temperature, precipitation and wind. And Bing Finance which showcases financial news, market information, currency conversions rates, stock option updates and customisable interactive charts for American markets.[4] Subsequently Microsoft launched Bing Travel, Bing Food & Drink, and Bing Health & Fitness applications which alongside the original suite of mobile apps were all rebranded under the MSN brand in 2014.[5][6]

In Windows Phone 8.1 Microsoft introduced Cortana to select markets, Cortana is an intelligent personal assistant built on top of the Bing Hub's Microsoft TellMe voice features. Cortana responds to a set of commands such as setting alarms, reminders, making suggestions based on the user's daily habits and frequented places, notify about the weather, turn up the latest headlines and news on the user's personal interests, a "do not disturb me" feature named Quiet hours which can set exceptions for contacts in the user's inner circle, predict sports events and tell jokes.[7] For users who enabled Cortana Bing Audio/Bing Music remains included built into Cortana's Hub but Bing Vision becomes only accessible via the Microsoft Camera by selecting lenses.[8] A common criticism against Cortana is the fact that it doesn't understand or respond to queries as well as other digital assistants does and will open up a Bing search result when it doesn't understand the question. Exclusive to Microsoft Lumia devices with the Lumia Denim update is the "Hey Cortana" feature which allows users to open Cortana with voice activation while their Windows Phone is in standby mode.[9]

Features[edit]

Bing for mobile browser - m.bing.com[edit]

Bing as viewed through the Android Browser.

Mobile browsing allows users to access Bing on their mobile devices through WAP or GPRS connection. The interface is optimized for viewing on mobile handsets.[10][11] Users can:

  • Search the web for information
  • Get news information
  • Find local businesses in the user's local area
  • Get maps and driving directions
  • Get answers to questions
  • In the UK and in Japan - "Find My Location" to pinpoint a user's location
  • Share content via the Facebook or Twitter

In the U.S. on HTML-ready mobile devices such as iPhone, Android, and touch-screen Windows phones, further features are available such as automatic location detection (geolocation), suggested local listings based on location and time of day, the ability to save listings to Favorites, and send that list to friends, cinematic listings with clips and trailers, and sports scores and stats, with real-time updates during games.[12][13]

Bing for mobile application[edit]

The Mobile Application is available as a Java ME application for non-Windows phones, as a richer .NET Framework application for Windows Phones, and as an application for BlackBerry OS, Android, iOS, and Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW). It provides local listings, maps (road and aerial satellite), driving directions, and traffic conditions.[14][15] Other features include:

  • Predictive text input
  • Browse and search through business categories
  • Image search and image exploration
  • Speech recognition search input
  • Search results include a phone number and address; users may click to call for an immediate connection
  • Send search results to others using SMS
  • Find maps for specific addresses
  • Get directions to and from a destination
  • Get turn by turn directions using a GPS receiver
  • View traffic information for major roads in selected cities
  • Get weather forecasts
  • View movie showtimes and theaters
  • Turn-by-turn navigation for Windows 6.x phones.[16]
  • A hub in Windows Phone 7.x and later devices.[17]
  • For Android it includes a built-in browser
  • Bing Rewards
  • The ability to set the device's lock screen based on Bing's daily images.

The Bing app is available in the U.S. on a variety of Windows phones, Android platform devices, all BlackBerry devices, several BREW devices, iPhone and iPod Touch, and Sidekick devices.

In April 2015 Microsoft redesigned the Google Android and iOS versions of Bing Mobile and implemented several new "cards" such as the "image of the day card" which shows Bing's rotating images and additional information, the "popular now card" which contains information on the most popular searched items of that day, a "Bing Rewards card" which shows the user's Bing Rewards points and serves as a central hub for Bing's search settings, a "Settings card" where users can alter their Safe Search filter and change what content they can see and which content they don't want to see, and a "Footer card" which gives users the ability to send feedback to Microsoft.[18][19]

iOS[edit]

The Bing app for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)[20][21] includes these further features:

  • Barcode and cover art scanning
  • Enhanced product listings
  • Social updates from Facebook and Twitter
  • Social search - see results from social network alongside web results
  • Share search results on Facebook, Twitter, or through email
  • Weather - get information about local and international weather
  • Trending - see what news is trending in the world[22]
  • Image Match - upload an image and get results for similar looking images
  • Sharing options through various messaging applications like WeChat and WhatsApp[23]

Bing 411[edit]

In the United States, Microsoft operated a toll-free number (1-800-BING-411 or 1-800-CALL-411) for directory assistance called Bing 411. This service was identical, except for the opening message, with the voice search service powered by Tellme on 1-800-555-TELL. Users were able to find local shops and restaurants and obtain driving directions, traffic reports, sports scores, stock quotes, news, and weather reports through this service. Service on 1-800-BING-411 and 1-800-555-TELL was discontinued on June 1, 2012. The 1-800-CALL-411 number was discontinued a few months later.[24][25][26]

As a replacement for Bing 411, Tellme Networks, offering similar services, has set up a non-toll-free number at 408-752-8052.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mies, Ginny (15 February 2010). "Windows Phone 7: An In-depth Look at the Features and Interface.". PC World. 
  2. ^ Stevens, Tim (14 May 2011). "Windows Phone Mango and Bing Vision hands-on.". Engadget. 
  3. ^ Molen, Brad (27 June 2011). "Windows Phone 7.5 Mango in-depth preview (video).". Engadget. 
  4. ^ Saxena, Anupam (8 August 2013). "Microsoft launches Bing News, Bing Finance, Bing Weather and Bing Sports apps for Windows Phone 8.". NDTV Gadgets. 
  5. ^ Mitroff, Sarah (18 February 2014). "Bing food, health, and travel apps arrive on Windows Phone, Three new lifestyle Bing apps made their way to Windows Phone today, so now all of your Bing apps can sync across your Windows devices.". CNet. 
  6. ^ Woods, Ben (8 September 2014). "Microsoft fully revamps its MSN portal, Bing mobile apps to be rebranded MSN too.". The Next Web. 
  7. ^ Muchmore, Micheal (3 April 2014). "Hands on With Windows Phone 8.1 (and Cortana).". PC Mag. 
  8. ^ Thurrot, Paul (22 April 2014). "Windows Phone 8.1 Tip: Find Missing Bing Search Features. Still there, just well hidden.". SuperSite for Windows. 
  9. ^ Flores, Marc (20 November 2014). "Windows Phone 8.1 review.". TechRadar. 
  10. ^ Ion, Alex (30 October 2009). "Bing for Mobile Now Live at m.bing.com.". Device Magazine. 
  11. ^ Oiaga, Marius (9 June 2011). "Bing for Mobile Gets Social, Mapping, News and Search Updates. Various aspects of the Bing for Mobile Browse (m.bing.com) experience have been enhanced with new features, which U.S. users can access immediately. At the same time, customers using Bing for Mobile in the UK will also be able to take advantage of updates to the local variant of m.bing.com.". Softpedia. 
  12. ^ Gohring, Nancy (23 May 2011). "Microsoft Updates Bing for Mobile Browsers.". TechHive. 
  13. ^ Long, Alex (18 June 2015). "Bing’s mobile website updated with focus on browsing news on the go. Everything you need to know at a hot topic -- at a glance.". WinBeta. 
  14. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (3 May 2011). "Bing to become search default on new BlackBerry phones. Research in Motion (RIM) has announced it will make Bing the default search engine on BlackBerry phones starting this holiday season.". ZDNet. 
  15. ^ Swisher, Kara (15 December 2009). "Microsoft's Bing app debuts on iPhone. The software giant's search service is now available on Apple's iTunes App Store; so when is the Android version coming?". CNet. 
  16. ^ "Updated Bing App for Windows Phone". 2010-05-11. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  17. ^ "Windows Phone 7 Series: Everything Is Different Now". Gizmodo. Gizmodo. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2015. The name—Windows Phone 7 Series—is a mouthful, and unfortunately, the epitome of Microsoft's worst naming instincts, belying the simple fact that it's the most groundbreaking phone since the iPhone. It's the phone Microsoft should've made three years ago. In the same way that the Windows 7 desktop OS was nearly everything people hoped it would be, Windows Phone 7 is almost everything anyone could've dreamed of in a phone, let alone a Microsoft phone. It changes everything. Why? Now that Microsoft has filled in its gaping chasm of suck with a meaningful phone effort, the three most significant companies in desktop computing—Apple, Google and Microsoft—now stand to occupy the same positions in mobile. Phones are officially computers that happen to fit in your pocket. Windows Phone 7 is also something completely new for Microsoft: A total break from the past. Windows Mobile isn't just dead, the body's been dumped, buried and paved over by a rainbow brick road. 
  18. ^ Sullivan, Mark (10 April 2015). "Microsoft gives Bing’s mobile home page a beautiful redesign.". Venture Beat. 
  19. ^ Shanahan, Dave (10 April 2015). "Bing mobile homepage gets a redesign, improves experience for Android and iPhone users.". WinBeta. 
  20. ^ Given, None (16 December 2009). "Microsoft releases Bing app for iPhone and iPod touch.". Mac Daily News. 
  21. ^ Keizer, Gregg (7 April 2011). "Bing for iPad a 'killer app,' says analyst. Microsoft's first iPad app 'effectively is a browser'.". Computer World. 
  22. ^ Viswav, Pradeep (18 October 2014). "Microsoft Releases Updated Bing App For iPhone And iPad". Microsoft-News. 
  23. ^ Viswav, Pradeep (25 June 2015). "Microsoft Updates Bing App For iPhone With New Sharing Capabilities With WeChat, WhatsApp And More". Microsoft-News. 
  24. ^ Hachman, Mark (3 June 2009). "Talking to BING-411, Bing's New Voice Search.". PC Mag. 
  25. ^ Purdy, Kevin (6 February 2009). "Bing 411 Gives Turn-by-Turn Directions, Weather by Phone.". Life Hacker. 
  26. ^ Schwartz, Barry (10 May 2012). "Confirmed: Bing 411 Closing June 1st.". Search Engine Land. 

External links[edit]