Back in October we launched six Bing Apps for Windows 8 including News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps and Travel to help you explore your world with a set of immersive vertical experiences. The apps were designed from the ground up to embrace speed and touch providing you with a fast, fluid and consistent way to delve into your interests and get things done. With the release of Windows 8.1 Preview, we are introducing two new Bing Apps for Windows: Food & Drink and Health & Fitness, along with significant updates to our Bing Maps app.
Let’s take a look at our new offerings.
New: Bing Food & Drink
Whether it’s the first time you’ve stepped into a kitchen, or you’re a seasoned chef, the Bing Food & Drink app was designed with you in mind. The app offers instant access to a variety of recipes from top culinary publishers like AllRecipes, popular cookbooks and food bloggers like Food 52, with more being added every day, as well as signature recipes and first hand tips from world-renowned chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio. For entertaining and dining out, the app also offers a wine encyclopedia with information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine, 3.3 million tasting notes and hundreds of the most popular cocktail recipes.
Designed for Use in the Kitchen
Sticky fingers and swiping a touchscreen is a recipe for disaster. That’s why we’re introducing Hands-Free Cooking Mode, which allows you to follow recipes step by step from your device without hassling with messy hands that may damage your computer. Now recipe pages can be turned with a simple hand wave in front of the computer or tablet’s camera using the gesture controls in Windows 8.1.
Comprehensive Recipe and Wine List
Looking for inspiration for tonight’s dinner? With Food & Drink you can browse recipes by cuisine, level of difficulty, preferred cooking method or by specific ingredients. See something that whets your appetite? Simply tap or click on the image to see the full recipe and even more photographs.
Don’t know a Bordeaux from a Tempranillo? We’ve got you covered. Food & Drink assembles wine ratings and tasting notes on over 1.5 million bottles of wine from around the world to help you learn about and select bottles of wine that are perfect for your meal and any occasion.
All Things Food and Drink
With helpful tips on how to get started in the kitchen, to new cooking techniques, shopping guides and culinary news, Food & Drink is a trove of helpful information. The app includes how-to guides, tips and tricks to help you master culinary techniques.
The food culture section features food and drink related articles from across the web for the foodie in you.
We have also recruited world-renowned chefs including Tom Colicchio, Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, Joel Robuchon, Marcus Samuelsson and Vikas Khanna (just to name a few) to provide insights, recipes and culinary tips so you can learn from the best. And we’ve got even more coming soon.
Customize with Quick and Easy Tools
After browsing through the thousands of tempting recipe photos you’ll likely find more than a few you want to make or save for the future. We make it a snap to assemble your ‘want to try’ or favorite recipes into your own collections. See a dessert recipe that you want to try down the road? Simply right click or touch the recipe tile and drag it down slightly to easily save it to your own custom collections, or add to your meal planner.
Meal Planner:If you’re browsing various recipes for a given meal, you can keep all of them organized in one place with the Meal Planner feature. From appetizers to the main course and beyond, you can put together and plan a masterful meal in a few quick clicks.
Add Your Own: Have a favorite recipe that you would like to add to the app? You can add your own recipes via the “Add Recipe” tool. This will remain private and will only be visible to your account.
Instant Shopping Lists: You’ve found the perfect recipe, now it’s time to go to the store with your list in hand. With a few clicks or taps, you can assemble a shopping list directly from the recipes page. And if you don’t feel like bringing along your Windows tablet, you can either print your list or email it directly to your phone.
New: Bing Health & Fitness
The Bing Health & Fitness app is a personal companion for everyday living. We designed this app around the belief that by bringing together nutrition, fitness and medical information customized to your own personal needs, you can learn about your own health, what works for you and make smart decisions to lead a healthy life. Combining these things in one comprehensive app allows you to quickly learn about what’s happening with your body and discover ways to maintain or change your lifestyle with helpful and easy to understand content.
The Health & Fitness app contains three Trackers; Diet Tracker, Health Tracker and Exercise Tracker. The Trackers are an easy and powerful way to gather information about your own body to make better decisions for you. They also all sync with Microsoft’s HealthVault to securely bring in data from personal medical records and third party tracking tools such as blood glucose monitors, electronic scales, FitBit and other activity and medical monitors.
The Diet Tracker is a food journal. Over 200,000 foods, including brand names, are available via partnerships with companies like FatSecret, that have full nutrition profiles and exercise equivalencies to bring the ‘cost’ of a dessert into new focus. The tracker includes weekly and monthly reports with goals that you can customize.
The Health Tracker is focused on medical information. Once synched with HealthVault, the Health Tracker feature provides a running tally of your weight, height, vaccinations, blood glucose and cholesterol numbers so you can easily keep tabs on critical data.
Finally, the Exercise Tracker enables you to easily record and monitor your fitness progress over time.
Get the Skinny on Nutrition
Health & Fitness provides detailed nutritional information for over 120,000 common foods. Wondering how much exercise is required to burn off that dessert? In addition to calorie count, you can see the exercise equivalencies for food and compare the nutrition profile of two foods.
Get Fit with Tutorials and Videos:
Looking to get in shape? We’ve got you covered with step-by-step instructions and videos for over 1000 exercises and workouts. You can search or browse by body part (e.g. arms), equipment (e.g. dumbbells), duration, type and difficulty.
3D Body Maps:
3D Body Maps allow you to explore the mechanics of the human body in a visually immersive way. You can explore how the systems in the body work by panning and zooming through different systems.
Symptom Checker is a unique and intuitive way to get information about symptoms you might be experiencing and a list of possible conditions. The guide is not intended to be medical advice but simply a reference guide.
Conditions and Treatments:
Information about select procedures used to treat conditions as well as stories and articles are available in the app. You can quickly learn more about a condition and the drugs and procedures that may be available to treat it.
Finally, the Health & Fitness app also offers medical, nutrition and fitness related articles and new content from our premium partners.
Updated: Bing Maps app
While we regularly improve each of the Bing Apps for Windows, we are excited about a range of significant updates to the Bing Maps app, only available on Windows 8.1 Preview. The new version includes improvements that give you personalized recommendations, makes finding local information quicker and easier, helps you make the choices and even helps with tasks like restaurant reservations.
Quick local category search
Window’s Phone Local Scout makes it quick and easy to search for the most important categories and get personalized picks. We’ve brought that capability to Windows, so you can do a local category search with one click for the most common categories like eat and drink, shopping, parking and banks. Explore what’s around you now, or explore where you’re going. You can also tailor the search to your needs, for example to only find restaurants that specialize in cuisines that you prefer.
Personalized picks for you
In addition to general local category search, you can also receive personalized recommendations by signing into your Facebook account and clicking ‘Picks for you’ at the bottom of the category list. This useful feature will deliver general recommendations based on what your friends like, check-ins and other social signals.
Deeper integration with Windows and partners
To help you make the right call on where to go and what to do, we’ve also deepened integration with other Windows apps and partners. Now you can explore the local weather with the Bing Weather app, see the Facebook and Twitter pages for local businesses, and even book using OpenTable, all without leaving the Maps app.
These apps are available today as part of the Windows 8.1 Preview. Windows 8.1 is still in development and it is recommended that only those who are comfortable with using pre-release software download the Preview. For more information on how to download the preview please visit http://preview.windows.com.
You will continue to see updates to make all of the Bing Apps for Windows 8 richer over time. In the meantime, let us know what you think.
– Brian MacDonald, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft