All modern smartphone devices come packed with reams of connectivity so you can access the web pretty much where ever you are, which is all well and good.
However, with Windows Phone 7 accessing information is easy and fast than ever thanks to the inclusion of a Search key that takes you directly to your device’s dedicated Bing application in the blink of an eye.
The dedicated Bing application does more than just search the internet though, it links up with Bing Maps, shows you what’s going on around, pulls and aggregates information on both a global and local scale and even throws in a some dedicated live tile interactivity to get your inquisitive juices flowing.
It doesn’t matter where you are on your Windows Phone 7 device, you can always jump straight to its contextual search function simply by pressing the ‘Search’ key, which is the far-right hardware key on your device.
The search function will change depending on which application you’re in. For example if you’re on the Start Screen, tapping the key will take you to Bing, but if you’re in your email, clicking on the Search button will let you search among your emails, if you click it when you are in Marketplace, it would search within Marketplace.
As soon as you click the ‘Search’ key you’ll be taken to the Bing Search app within the blink of an eye.
To ensure that you can access information and results that are relative to your GPS positioning, Bing will automatically update your location – ours, at present, for example is London. Nonetheless, this will change as you move – don’t worry about it having to change it manually though, it’s all taken care of by Windows Phone 7 automatically.
Interactive Information Tiles
As soon as you have the Bing application open, you’ll notice that there is a background picture. This picture will constantly update , so one time it may be a famous statue, the next a historic painting – but never the same thing twice.
Once you’ve entered a search term into Bing it generates the results across three streams: News, Web and Local.
You can scroll through a panorama of the results (like a hub of results) to find what you want quickly.
Within the ‘news’ stream your search results are aggregated against what’s happening in the global headlines. So if you search for “Windows Phone 7 reviews” you get a list of all the websites that have articles relating to that specific search term.
The ‘web’ stream is more generic, so things that are loosely tied to that particular search term will appear, so you might get the official Microsoft website as well as reviews, news and adverts relating to your search term.
Local is where you can search for things around you, such as tube stations, restaurants, places of interest and cinemas etc. All you need to do is type in something generic, like Goodge Street, for example and Bing search will show you all the things of interest that are around you. Tap on a search result and it’ll provide you with reviews, directions, contact details, opening hours and exactly how far away it is from you.
You can also pin the results to your Start Screen. Let’s say you find a restaurant. Just pin the result wthin Maps so when you get out of the nearest tube station you can quickly go back to maps and get directions to the restaurant.