The new Bing for Windows Mobile- Why did MS take away all of the good features? RRS feed

  • Question

  • So I installed the new version of Bing for Windows Mobile. Long story short- it sucks.

    Gone are the gas prices, movie search by movie, and directions to a contact.

    Yes, you are reading thast correctly- this new versiuon actually took away all of the best functionality.

    So let me get this straight- Google is adding turn by turn navigation (and all of the features I just listed that Bing has removed) to their app on their Android operating system. And here we have Microsoft actually removing features from their competing app on their own operating system?

    Someone please help me out in understaning this, please....

    As you can tell, I am upset by this. I am an avid Windows Mobile user, and an avid Bing user. Please, someone get this rant to the folks that actually matter at Microsoft. Someone in this huge company has to be able to understand where I am coming from.

    If nobody at Microsoft gets it, then there is a good chance that I will be switching to Android like everyone else once someone releases a decent horizontal qwerty slider.

    Is there any chance these features will be back anytime soon? Help me out here Microsoft, I'd love to hear an explanation for removing all of the best features at a time when Google is adding tons of features to their competing app on their competing operating system.
    Friday, December 4, 2009 10:04 PM


All replies

  • Well, I had to try it based on your post because I could not believe that they made such a dramatic change as you indicated but it was a shocker.  Still I could not believe that it had lost all that functionality so I tried it a bit before making this post.  On the opening page I entered movies + zip code and it gave me some decent results ... I was not unhappy with that feature.  I tried in the search "gas + zip" and that worked giving me the local gas stations.

    Clicking on the Business Directory, I could pick Weather, Restaurants, Shopping, Nightlife, Hotels, Transportation Arts & Entertainment, Government & Community and Health & Fitness.  Overall, I was not unhappy and found it to be pretty good but clearly I will have to experiment more before I pass final judgement.  But I was happy enough that I thought I would try it on a second device (Verizon Imagio).  The response back from the server was that it was an unsupported device ... what is up with that?  SO I did the download for a 6.5 device and tried to install ... no luck.  I'll have to work on that.  I'm guessing it has something to do with the way Verizon has locked down the device but that is purely speculation.

    Overall, it is not bad ... but I do miss the look and feel of the "original" version
    Jack Cook
    Monday, December 7, 2009 3:45 PM
  • It looks like there have been some changes made. At the time I posted that, Movies was not one of the options in the Business Directory. Glad to see it is there now.

    However, the interface is still garbage. For example, I go into the Business Directory and hit Movies. Now I am taken to a list of every movie playing in my area (as I should be, so far so good). I don't know what the deal is, but scrolling through that list just doesn't work. Maybe it's still buggy because they are still in the process of adding the movie feature or something, I don't know. But scrolling does not work properly. I trust that is just an early bug that will be corrected.

    However, I hit "back" to take me back to the catagories screen, and now I am at the same web search that I was originally complaining about (just a list of theaters in my area). I don't want to see this list, I am trying to get "back" and that is why I tapped "back." I was not here originally, so how is this considered "back" to where I was?

    I prefer an option to list the movies by title, with each movie having a more info option, and in the more info have an option to list theaters it is playing at. Or even have a totally seperate option to search for theaters in your area with no regards to what movie they are showing (and the old version did both of these). But don't bring me to a listing of theaters when I hit "back" (from a listing of movies in the area) when I started at the business directory screen. And even worse- there is actually no way to get back to the business directory screen. From this web search, all I can do is go to "Bing home" and then from there go back to the Business Directory.

    And the worse part of all, if you go to the "Business Directory" and tap "Movies," it will show you the list of movies in your area (as it should, so far so good). Tap one of them to see where it is playing. It shows the movie info (as it should, so far so good). But if you decide to check out a different movie, there is no way to get back to the movie list- if you hit "back" you are taken to a web search showing different theaters in your area (even though you have never been to this list, so I have no idea why it is considered "back") and from there all you can do is either exit the app or go to "Bing Home" and start over.

    Weather is the same way... From the "Business Directory" you hit weather, it shows the weather. You then hit "back" and it takes you to a web search with no way to get back to the "business directory" (which I have no idea why weather is listed in the business directory anyway, but whatever).

    Heck, it looks like everything about the "Business Catagories" is that way. You hit "back" and you are taken to some web search that you have never been to, with no way to get back to your original list.

    The old version also had a gas catagory that listed all of the gas stations in the area (and even sorted them by price) this new version does not.

    The old version allowed you to search and map your contacts, the new version does not.

    In this new version, if you browse the catagories, you have no way to go back to the catagories (or business directory, whatever).

    If you are searching for anything and you have to enter the zip code, then it is a huge step backwards. This is supposed to be a GPS app, why are you entering the zip code?

    This new version is garbage. Nice of them to include the satellite imagery, but everything else about it is a huge step backwards.

    I can only hope this is some early beta that accidentally got released and the missing functionality will be restored soon, and the cumbersome operation (can't get back to the lists, showing some web search that I don't care to see, etc) will be corrected. Nice to see the movies are sort of halfway back to normal. Still not there yet but better than when I started this thread.
    Monday, December 7, 2009 4:25 PM
  • I was hoping we'd see Live ID syncing of custom Maps & saved Collections in this version, just like Google Maps. Instead, they removed the GeoRSS/Collections feature completely.

    The worst is not being able to map a contact address or set a contact as a destination.  Shouldn't that be an essential feature??  It was on Pocket Streets & Trips 10 years ago.

    The GPS navigation seems to be worse as well... doesn't update based on current location anymore, and the "you are here" icon has turned into a circle which means you can't tell your heading on the map anymore.  I miss the "Bird's Eye View" option too.

    Yeah, really disappointing.
    Wednesday, December 9, 2009 2:21 PM
  • THE NEW BING MOBILE IS AWFUL!!!! It doesn't show your direction of travel, just a dot on the map. They removed the hard key based zoom (you have to look at the screen and try to hit the + or - on the screen instead of using the hard keys on your phone). The distance to the next turn does not update during travel, and turn-by-turn no longer works. DO NOT UPGRADE OR YOU WILL BE SORRY!!!

    Basically, Microsoft copied Googlemaps mobile, which is also awful. The last iteration of Bing Mobile (before December, aka Live for Mobile) was pretty good, except that it freezes on my Fuze occasionally. If Microsoft wants to copy something, then they should copy TomTom. Just add current speed, updating ETA to final destination, updating distance to final destination, avg speed, lat-lon based waypoints, and voice prompts to the old Live for Mobile, and it's good.
    Monday, December 14, 2009 1:23 PM
  • Basically, Microsoft copied Googlemaps mobile, which is also awful.
    Maybe they copied the iPhone version of Google Maps, but the Windows Mobile version of Google Maps now has a lot of the features that Bing Mobile removed!  It now has a directional location icon and access to custom user maps.  Plus it still has street view even though Bing removed its cool Bird's Eye view.
    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 1:39 AM
  • I just want to know how I can remove this new crippled version and get the old Bing back.  This new one is horrible.  Does anyone know how to remove this and "downgrade"?  This is almost like "Downgrading" from Vista to XP. 
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:07 PM
  • Unless you have saved a copy of the cab file for the old version (or can find it on the net) you are probably out of luck.

    This might be it:
    Jack Cook
    Friday, December 18, 2009 2:17 PM
  • Thanks for the link Jack!  That was the right .cab file.  For those who may need it you can follow this to install it on the phone


    Thanks again Jack.  The 'new' Bing is horrible.  Microsoft - make sure you actually test the application before releasing it.  This new Bing was as good as WindowsME..  ~ read..  bad idea.  Don't upgrade folks - it will make Bing useless.

    Monday, December 21, 2009 11:16 PM
  • Thanks for the nice comment!

    Truth be told, I did not like the change either but I have it installed on all my devicesexcept one) and I am getting used to it (and actually like it for the most part).
    Jack Cook
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 2:53 PM
  • Initially I liked the look better but it just didn't work after I installed it.  It was pretty but it couldn't find anything like it had before and it started locking up and crashing my phone.  I have the Samsung Jack with Windows Mobile 6.5  (since I upgraded from 6.1 the phone hasn't been such a battery hog)  :)

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 7:10 PM