Microsoft's Bing Apps expand to Windows Phone 8
Close to a year after launching its Bing Apps collection for the Windows 8 desktop platform, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is now extending the free applications to its Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, promising users a broad spectrum of news and information from high-profile media partners.
Bing Sports on Windows Phone 8 offers users news and information from a variety of outlets.
Bing Apps for Windows Phone 8 includes Bing News, which features headlines and videos from publishers and news agencies including The Associated Press, Reuters and The Guardian. Users can customize the app according to their personal and geographic preferences, tracking specific story categories, topics or news sources. Windows Phone device owners also may pin a favorite media outlet or subject to the Start screen via the operating system's signature Live Tiles feature.
Bing Sports lets fans follow their favorite sports and teams, swiping through for headlines, scores, videos, photos, schedules, standings and more. "You can personalize the experience to track the leagues and teams you follow," noted Microsoft Editor Michael Stroh. "Tap into a specific league or team and the app color theme changes depending on the sport, such as green turf for NFL, brown dirt for MLB, grey asphalt for Formula 1 racing, etc." Users also may pin their favorite team to the Start screen.
Bing Weather spotlights current conditions including temperature, precipitation and wind speeds. "You can follow the weather with dynamic maps for your city or region in a number of categories including satellite, temperature, precipitation, cloud cover and radar," Stroh said. "You can also drill down in to the daily weather conditions, explore historical data and view charts for temperature and precipitation." The Bing Weather app also dynamically updates Live Tiles based on the user's current location.
Bing Finance tracks markets across the globe, complete with financial news, currency conversions, U.S. stock updates and customizable interactive charts. Users can set up a watchlist to track their investments and pin individual stocks to the Start screen for Live Tile updates--tapping a watchlist stock generates an overview of the stock's performance, news about the company, stock statistics and a corporate overview. Bing Finance additionally touts news updates from outlets like Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business.
Windows Phone 8 powers 3.9 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide during the second quarter of 2013, up from 3.6 percent in the year-ago quarter, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. The Microsoft OS follows far behind Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android at 79.5 percent and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS at 13.6 percent.
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