Heads up, Windows Phone 8 users, because it looks like you've got a big Bing update headed your way. Microsoft announced today on its official Windows Phone Blog that's begun pushing out an update to Bing search for Windows Phone 8 that brings with its several new features and an improved look.
Post-update, users that tap on their Windows Phone's Search key will be presented with three tabs for Web, Images and Video, down from the four Web, Local, Media and Shopping tabs of old. Microsoft says that this change is intended to simplify the look of Bing search and help users find what they're looking for more quickly.
Each of the three new categories has its own special features. For example, the Web section is smart enough to place the most relevant search results at the top of the page, such as images or local results. Web will also present users with richer results for some sites, cutting down on the number of taps necessary to reach a certain page (like the "Flight Schedules" portion of Delta's website).
Meanwhile, Images and Videos both now feature infinite scrolling, and Images also includes larger thumbnails. Microsoft has also tweaked Bing so that the app only downloads results for the Web view automatically rather than loading all three sections, a move that the company says will make Bing faster and cut down on its data consumption.
This latest Bing search update also brings with it more Instant Answers. Microsoft says that it's brought 10 Instant Answers from the PC to Windows Phone 8, allowing users to get the answers to get information related to exchange rates, definitions, translations and more without having to actually navigate to a web page. This update brings the total number of Instant Answers on Windows Phone to around 30, and Microsoft says that additional Instant Answers will be added to Windows Phone more quickly in the future thanks to today's update.
Finally, today's update brings the Bing web search feature called Snapshot to Windows Phone 8 users in the U.S. Snapshot will provide at-a-glance information about people, places, films, locations and more right in its search results.
Microsoft's latest Bing search update sounds like a biggie, and anyone that uses the Search functionality on their Windows Phone 8 device ought to benefit from the improvements that this better Bing build. The updated version of Bing is slated to begin automatically appearing on Windows Phone 8 devices in the U.S. in the coming weeks, with additional markets expected to receive it afterward.