Microsoft has released an updated version of its mobile handset browser, Bing for Mobile, adding a range of features that could boost mobile worker productivity through mapping services and faster search.
The updates range from leisure features such as shopping tools, through to easier application store searching and real-time travel information which displays estimated journey times based on walking, transit and traffic information.
Perhaps strangely, the bulk of the new features are not supported on phones running Windows Phone 7, but are on Google Android handsets and the Apple iPhone.
This is because the Windows operating system runs HTML5, the web graphics software that is responsible for giving the browser its app look and feel and smooth scrolling and searching.
However, Windows Phone 7 is expected to include HMTL5 support later this year at which time the same features should follow for supporting handsets.
Microsoft also pitched its updated application store search features at iPhone users, explaining that it will let them more easily search for software that meets their specifications.
"Have an iPhone and want to search for apps? Now, when searching on m.bing.com with your iPhone, Bing will return a list of relevant iPhone apps that fit your specifications, in addition to the normal search results," said Andy Chu, director of product management Bing for Mobile. "This is a great way to serendipitously discover great new apps."
In tests, V3.co.uk found the m.bing.com search and features easy to use. For example, the mapping and direction tools provided information quickly and accurately, something that may be key for mobile workers and sales staff.
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