As many of you will be aware, last week we unveiled the next chapter in the evolution of Windows Phone. Windows Phone 7.5 — codename “Mango”— delivers an enhanced Bing Search experience, which you can access at anytime using the dedicated search button to help you quickly find what you want.
With the introduction of features such as Bing Vision, Bing Music, and Local Scout, you’ll benefit from Bing integrating the power of the Internet from beyond the browser.
Bing for Windows Phone also provides the features that are popular with desktop Bing users, such as the popular Bing homepage that changes daily, providing new images with hotspots that you can tap to help you discover fun facts.
Here’s an overview of the Bing features available with Windows Phone 7.5:
Local Scout provides a location-aware neighbourhood guide that shows nearby recommended restaurants, shopping and activities within a 25-mile radius of your location.
When you’re exploring a new area or feeling indecisive, let Local Scout be your guide. To make it easy to find what you want, we divided Local Scout results into the following panes:
· Eat+drink, which shows nearby places to grab a bite or quench your thirst.
· See+do, which shows nearby attractions and activities.
· Shop, which shows nearby stores.
If there’s a catchy tune you don’t recognise playing somewhere other than on your phone, you can use Bing Music to identify the song and go to Zune Marketplace to purchase or stream it. Just tap the hardware Search button on your phone and then tap the Music button at the bottom of the screen. After listening to the song for a few seconds, Windows Phone will show you who sings it, which album it’s on, and where to get it. Your Windows Phone will even save these search results for you automatically, so that you can quickly get back to what you were doing and download the song later.
With Windows Phone you can also use the camera to quickly find product information and explore purchase options. You’ll find a button to launch Bing Vision below the Bing search screen—just tap it to initiate search via QR codes, text recognition, Microsoft Tag to find out more information about CDs, DVDs, books and more.
Bing Vision can even help you crack the language barrier, such as when viewing a sign in a foreign country to translate it into different languages.
If you prefer, you can skip the keyboard and tell Bing what you’re looking for—just tap the Voice button in Bing for built-in voice recognition. Voice search also works from the Start screen. Just press and hold the Start button and say “Search for pizza” or “Find pizza,” and Bing will display the closest places to get one.
Voice search in Windows Phone is even faster and more accurate—a quicker option than typing, and a great way to find what you want even if you don’t know how to spell it. Of course, Microsoft Tellme in Windows Phone also lets you do many other things on your phone.
To download the software update, you’ll need to connect to Zune and have previous Windows Phone updates installed. If you haven’t installed Zune, it only takes a few minutes and is a free download:
· Go to http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/apps/zune-software.aspx and install the Zune software (Mac users need to download the Mac Connector software here)
· Open the Zune software, then follow the instructions to get all your music, videos, pictures, and so on into your collection
The HTC TITAN and HTC Radar will come with the latest Windows Phone update straight out of the box. Windows Phones launched before this date are set to be updated with the latest operating system by the end of October 2011.