Bing App on iPhone: iOS 8 Extensibility and Widgets in Action

On September 23, Microsoft detailed some of the new features delivered through the latest update of the Bing app on iPhone. With iOS 8, Apple did bulk up and two of the many features added were extensibility through sharing between apps as well as widgets on the notification screen.

The updated Bing app utilizes both of these features:

Bing Translator

With Bing Translator feature of the app installed as a supported shareable app in Safari, you can now instantly translate any web page in Safari. This feature is also of course available inside the Bing app itself, so if you need to translate search results it can be done within the app itself.

Bing App Translate
Bing App Translate
Bing Translate Share Sheet
Bing Translate Share Sheet
Bing App Extensibility iOS 8 Safari
Bing App Extensibility iOS 8 Safari
Bing App Translated Page
Bing App Translated Page

 

Today and Trending Topics widget

In addition to the translator, the Bing app now lets you choose Bing Today as a lock screen widget. This widget shows the Bing Image Of The Day, as well as three top trending topics. Clicking on the image leads to the front page inside the Bing app and clicking on any of the trending topics leads to the news items about those trending topics.

 

iOS 8 Lock Screen Widget Chooser
iOS 8 Lock Screen Widget Chooser
iOS 8 Bing Today Widget
iOS 8 Bing Today Widget

 

Microsoft has moved Bing’s value from a pure desktop web search engine to a vast pool of entities and relationships which get better as more people use the service. The more “end points” Bing has, the better the quality of the engine becomes. With this background it is easy to see why the Bing team would improve the Bing app for iPhone and jump on the latest technologies supported by the latest features of iOS.

Although most users who need to search on iOS can now use iOS 8’s updated Spotlight, it is still nice to use an app that lets you search not just the web, but also news, images, photos, videos, etc., and that’s what the Bing app lets you do.

Do you use the Bing app on iOS? Do you like the updates?

Best Mobile Apps Of The Week for iOS, Android and Symbian – #8

Welcome to the eight edition of Best Mobile Apps of the Week for iOS, Android and Symbian. First of all, I would like to apologize to our readers as I did not post the Best Mobile Apps for the last 2 weeks. I had to give my Android phone to the service center, and was using a dumbphone for nearly two weeks.

In this edition of Best Mobile Apps of the week, I will introduce our readers to an awesome eye-candy widget for your Android homescreen, a new unlock screen for you Symbian handset. For iOS owners, I will tell them about an app that will allow them to wake up their PC remotely!

Below are the Best Mobile Apps Of The Week For iOS, Android and Symbian :

Wake (iOS)

As the name suggests, Wake’ enables iOS users to remotely wake up their PC. The app uses WOL Wake On Lan feature which is found in nearly all PCs and Macs computers. Users need to make sure that the WOL’ feature is enabled on their PC. They can do so from the BIOS of their PC.

Wake_iOS

The app is designed to work with both iPhone and iPad. This app is an extremely useful one for users who want total control on their PC, when they are away from it. iOS owners can purchase Wake’ from the App Store for $0.99 from here.

Maze Lock (Symbian)

In the last edition of BMATW, I introduced our readers to Nokia Bubbles. The app allows users to unlock their phone in a fun and yet efficient manner. Today, I would like to introduce our readers to Maze Lock from ThinkChange.

Below is a video of Maze Lock in action :

 

Maze Lock for Symbian is similar to the pattern unlock option found in Android 2.1+ handsets. The app is configurable to quite an extent and allows users to change the lock screen background, the date and time display style etc. The app supports all the latest Symbian handsets from Nokia as well as the older S60v5 based ones like the X6 and 5800.

Symbian owners can download Maze Lock for free from the Ovi Store.

Honeycomb Clock (Android)

The tablet version of Android Honeycomb looks stellar! The whole Tron like theme and animations definitely look very cool! Well, Android handset owners are not going to get the next version of Android with all these eye-candies anytime soon. Until then, they can get the Honeycomb look on their phone by using a Honeycomb theme for ADW Launcher.

Honeycomb_Clock_widget

Along with this, they can download and use the Honeycomb Clock widget from the Android Market. This widget replicates the awesome looking clock widget as seen in Honeycomb OS. Unlike the clock widget in Android 3.0, Honeycomb clock comes in multiple color choices for people who don’t like the blue color.

A free as well as a paid version of this widget is available on the Android Market. Android handset owners can download the app from here.

Download Android 3.0 Honeycomb Music Player For Your Android Handset

Andy Rubin had stated during the Google I/O event this year that the Android 3.0 update will completely change the UI of Android to make it look more beautiful and pleasing to the eye. Back then, he had also shown off the brand new Music Player which will be bundled with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Now, XDA member johnie93 has somehow managed to get his hands on the APK file of the Honeycomb music player.

Readers can download the APK file from here. Transfer this APK file to your Android handset and install it to get the Honeycomb music player on your handset.

snap20101228_125530 snap20101228_125257

The Music Player worked perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy S running a custom ROM based on Android 2.2.1. The application also supports music streaming from the Gmail account linked to your Android handset (Google Music incoming?). The UI of the music app is pretty good as well but nothing stellar. The desktop widget is a bit bland for my taste with no album art support.

It also looks like the Music Player will support Wireless Sync. As of now, the feature does not work. Also, sometimes the app would get excessively slow while playing back music. The app also FC’ed (Force Close) a couple of times for the short span of time I used it.

Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that this is a beta version of the music player. Google still has a lot of time to improve and tweak the performance of the application and perhaps include an equalizer as well.

(Source)

TweetDeck For Android V0.9.8 Beta Released

The folks behind TweetDeck have just updated the beta version of TweetDeck for Android. This new beta update brings with it a trio of widgets and a new Add Column interface. Along with this, the beta also fixes the various bugs found in the previous beta and aims at improving the performance of the application. snap20100910_214909

The three new widgets include TweetDeck Bar, TweetDeck Column and TweetDeck post. The TweetDeck Bar widget contains shortcuts to all your columns. The TweetDeck column shows the recent tweets of the column you select. However, according to me this widget has a very odd size. It needs to be a bit bigger. The TweetDeck Post widget allows you to quickly compose and tweet new messages.

I have been using TweetDeck right from the time the first beta rolled out. The application is downright impressive with a very pleasing UI. However, it still lacks a very important feature and that is the number of tweets to load.

Here is the link to download TweetDeck Beta for Android.