Microsoft updated its Bing Mobile web interface on Wednesday, adding more HTMl5 improvements.
Microsoft’s latest Bing Mobile update includes better and faster image search, real-time transit and directions, app search for the iPhone, and more. The new features utilize HTML5 and work on iOS and Android devices. What about Windows Phone 7 you ask? “Don’t worry” says Microsoft as “it will support HTML5 later this year so these updates will work great at that time.”
Transit Directions and Real-Time Transit
Microsoft has added transit directions to m.bing.com. Users can now use the browser service to plot public transport options. In addition to directions, Microsoft has also enabled real-time transit information for Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Microsoft has tweaked its image search to improve performance and make searching for images a lot faster.
Shopping, movies, apps and weather
Bing has improved its shopping experience from mobiles. There’s a re-organized shopping experience that allows users to compare products and reviews on the go. Microsoft has also tweaked its movie search to show relevant movie information and the nearest theatres to your device.
The final two mobile improvements see iPhone apps and weather reports added straight into the search results. If you’re an iPhone user and you visit m.bing.com then any search will provide a list of iPhone apps in the results too. Bing has also added Weather Autosuggest and Instant Answers to the search bar. If you type in “weather in” it will auto-populate the weather based on the city you pick.
Despite the Bing HTML5 mobile improvements, the company is also planning a desktop refresh. Microsoft made a preview page for Bing HTML5 available earlier this month before taking the page offline. Bing’s HTML5 will include smooth animations to allow users to jump backwards in their search history. Bing will also introduce small, hovering windows as you scroll down the screen to keep navigation tabs in view. Bing will also enable animated pictures and automatically generated slideshows so users can visually explore a search query.
Bing will also introduce an “instant” search similar to rival Google. The instant search will allow page elements to automatically transition as the user types their search query into the bing box. Microsoft will make HTML5 Bing available as a beta preview version “soon” according to one person familiar with the company’s plans.