Bing for Windows Phone gets a few search tweaks

Microsoft's search app for Windows Phone gets a more streamlined design and new search features.


Microsoft has revamped Bing search on Windows Phone 8, adding features that have been available on the Bing search apps for Android and iOS for the last few weeks. The company announced the changes in a post on the Bing Search blog Monday.

Windows Phone 8 devices come with Bing already baked into the operating system, usually accessible from a search button on the phone. Originally, when you ran a search and swiped left or right, you would see four categories of search results: web, local, media, and shopping.

Bing has condensed those categories to just Web, images, and video, because Bing product manager Alisher Saydalikhodjayev reasoned that most people didn't use the original categories, or even notice that they existed at all, according to the blog post.

The new Web search filter is now supposed to be smart enough to show the most relevant search results, by showing different types of search results in one place. That means if you search for Daft Punk, music videos will show up as the top results in the web section, followed by website results. Likewise, if you search for "cat memes," photos will show up first. In the older version of Bing, you'd have to swipe to the media section to see photo or video results.

Another new feature with the update brings richer search results for top Web sites. Bing uses Delta Airlines as an example, showing that when you search for Delta Airlines, you'll get the Web site, plus links for flight status, flight schedules, and links to track a flight.

The update adds 10 new Instant Answers, Bing's instant search results that show you at-a-glance information such as weather and stock information. Included in the new Instant Answers are traffic, flight status, exchange rates, word definitions, and translations.

Also included in the update are infinite scrolling on images and video search results, larger, autosized image thumbnails, and behind-the-scenes tweaks to make search faster and use less of your data plan.

The Bing update has already begun to show up on Windows Phone 8 devices and should reach all of them over the next few weeks. You can get a full breakdown on the update on the Bing blog.