News-centric apps are great at showing the capabilities of Windows Phone’s live tiles, so I was glad to see Microsoft release four new Bing apps last week… Bing News, Bing Sport, Bing Weather and Bing Finance. They’re a bit like baby brothers of the equivalent Bing apps for Windows 8′s modern UI.
Click on the small images in this post to see the larger versions.
Bing News, as its names suggest, is a news-based app pulling stories from several sources (such as Sky News, Gizmodo, The Guardian, Reuters, BBC News), and you can select / deselect from a long list. You can look through news categories and, my favourite feature, create your own news topics by adding a search term – I have an ‘Arsenal’ news section to keep tabs on the transfer activity (well, not much going on there), ‘Microsoft’ to get the latest Microsoft news, and ‘Brandon Boyd’ to get information on the release of his forthcoming solo album.
Bing News provides a live tile for the Windows Phone start screen which is re-sizeable, and flips to show a news headline and a photo at either full or half-width. The app is full of things that you can pin to the start screen – a particular news category, a news source and your own created topics.
Next up is Bing Weather (you can guess its main purpose). Again, it provides a live tile (at half-width) to show the outlook in your designated home location. Within the app you’ll see a summary for your home location for today, the daily and hourly outlooks, and maps for temperature, precipitation and cloud cover. The app also allows you to set up other places, and then get the above details for those too (and pin them to the start screen).
Bing Sport is fairly similar to Bing News – again, a full and half-width live tile flipping between a photo and a headline. Inside the app you get a scoreboard, news stories, the ability to pick your teams (for me Arsenal, Brentford and, because they’re local, Reading) and ‘my sports’ (from which I have removed the rugby, cricket, golf, and anything except the English football leagues). Drilling down into a chosen sport (e.g. the Premier League) shows results, fixtures, top stories and the table. Not much Arsenal transfer news in there either. I’m looking forward to seeing this section on Saturday.
As with the News app you can pin items to the phone’s start screen – a favourite team or a sport / league.
Finally Bing Finance – it offers a full and half-width tile showing the day’s market activity (for me it’s showing the FTSE). Inside the app you have a summary of a number of indexes (you can search for and add more), a watchlist (add your favourite stocks), news, and some other items such as currencies, commodities and a currency converter. If you select a stock you can see more details – price graphs, news, statistics and its profile. You can also pin a stock or index to the start screen to see its latest position.