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Microsoft updates Bing search on Windows Phone with new features and UI

Microsoft updates Bing search on Windows Phone with new features and UI
Microsoft has overhauled the Bing search experience for Windows Phone devices, streamlining it with fewer search filters and offering more relevant results on the first page, among other features. The update is being rolled out to American devices following which it will hit international ones.

In a blog post detailing the various changes that the update will bring, Microsoft informs that the new Bing experience would sport a new look and instead of offering Web, Local, Media, and Shopping filters, it will only offer Web, Images, and Videos result categories. The company feels that consolidating and streamlining results views would 'reduce confusion and help people find what they're looking for more easily.'

The 'Web' results will also feature images, videos, and local listings results, putting more info on the first search result screen and reducing the need to swipe through different screens.

The update also adds page results for popular websites displaying internal page links with the main result. For instance, when a user searches for delta.com on Bing, it will show delta.com as the top result, but also provides links to Flight Status, SkyMiles, Track Flight, Flight Schedules, and other popular pages within the site.

In addition to the major changes, the images and video search results pages will support infinite scrolling. The images results will offer larger, auto-sized thumbnails for images.

bing-mobile-new1.jpgMicrosoft also mentions that it has made some under-the-hood tweaks to make Bing deliver results faster on the user's phone and consume less data. Following the update, the phone will download results only for the default Web view and will fetch results for other categories only if the user swipes the screen to view them.

The update also brings 10 new 'Instant Answers' terms to the phone version of Bing from the web version, with answer terms for looking up the dictionary definition of a word, making a currency conversion, checking flight status, translating a term and checking the current time at a location, among others. With this addition, Bing on Windows Phone now supports 30 Instant Answer terms.

Microsoft has also extended Snapshot, a web feature that it had introduced last year to the Windows Phone version. The feature provides information at-a-glance about people, places, or things. For example searching for Mount Everest will also offer some titbits related to it when one clicks on the Snapshot view.

It's worth pointing out that not all features will be available outside of the USA.

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