Bing has just released an upgrade to their mobile browser that takes the best of apps and combines it with the best of the browser for a faster, easier user experience.
Like the Bing app, the Bing mobile browser offers a scrolling list of categories to help narrow down your choices from the moment you start to search. From there, you can jump to the updated shopping helper which uses more graphics than text to guide you through the next steps. Each category drills down at least twice until you’re presented with a list of pre-selected items, which, unless you’re gift shopping for someone you don’t know, is fairly useless.
I don’t know how Bing chooses which items to show, but when I picked Scifi Movies, I was presented with Mars Attacks (an old $2.50 DVD), Retro Scifi Adventures (?) and Beowulf (??). Tron comes out in two weeks, shouldn’t that be the top item on the list?
If you search for a specific item, the chosen category does refine the search results so you only get items for sale and not general websites. By searching Supernatural inside of the Shopping: Movies: category, the top three items presented were indeed DVDs of the various seasons of the TV show. Used that way, this is a time saver vs a general Google search.
TRANSIT AND WEATHER
For those of you who use public transportation, Bing has made it very easy to find bus routes and walking routes. Simply tap Directions, fill in your ending location, then choose the car, bus or walking icon to get appropriate directions. An excellent tool.
Bing also upgraded their weather application to use auto-suggest so all you have to do is start typing the city name and you’re there. Great. The odd part is, I have to keep typing in my own zip code to get my own weather. Shouldn’t that be automatic based on my phone settings or GPS?
If you’re bored, click on Bing Images to take a look at the lovely and unusual shots of the day. Type a query in the search and you instantly received a whole grid full of choices that you can enlarge and flip through. An excellent time waster while you’re waiting for that bus to arrive.
The Bing blog says they’ve built in an app search system that suggests related apps for your phone, but I couldn’t figure out how to get that to work.
They’ve also improved their movie search to organize by time and location nearest you with links to reviews so you can see what the critics think before you go and form your own opinion.
Access all of this by going to m.bing.com from your iPhone or Android. Windows Phone 7 support will be along later this year.