Microsoft released an update to the Bing search engine for Windows Phone 8 on Monday. The company says the update offers a fresh user interface and new features. Right now the Bing search tool on Windows lets you search the Web, Media, Shopping and Local results. That’s going to change to only provide results for Videos, Web and images, which is a bit strange considering Microsoft has tried to play up local results in the past.
Microsoft said the changes were made because some people “just dont use” the existing views. We can’t blame them – shopping results were often inaccurate and local search is downright awful in our experience (most of the time I can’t find nearby restaurants in NYC). While it sounds like Microsoft is just sweeping its problems under the rug, the company promises that it’s making the changes so consumers don’t have to swipe as much (instead of four swipes there are now three).
Local results, which appear automatically inside the “Web” tab have been cleaned up to provide faster access to phone numbers for points of interest and directions. Additionally, Bing was improved to show “richer results” for your search queries. You might see “Flight Status,” “SkyMiles” or “Flight Schedules” following a search for Delta, for example. Bing was also updated with infinite scrolling, which should provide quicker access to more results of images and videos.
The company is pulling in another feature that’s currently available in Web browsers on PCs. You’ll be able to search for “Instant Answers” to questions related to one of ten categories, including traffic, a flight status, exchange rates, definitions, traffic, local time and more.
Microsoft promises the update will roll out in the coming weeks to Bing users in the United States, so keep your eyes peeled for the update.