This morning Microsoft announced updates to Bing apps for Windows Phone (News, Finance, Weather, Sports), and new Bing -based apps for the smartphone platform: Food and Drink, Health and Fitness, and Travel. Comparable apps were already available on Windows 8.1.
It’s a sensible move given that users of Windows 8.x likely expect their Windows experience to travel to their phone as well, given the platform’s advertised similarity to their normal computing environment.
Microsoft, however, has added a new wrinkle that should raise your eyebrow:
Along with fresh features, your personalized content from all 7 of the Bing apps will now roam across all your Windows devices. For example: any places you’ve added in the Bing Weather app will now roam and sync between your Windows PC or Tablet and your Windows Phone! Just set up once with your Microsoft Account, and you’re all set.
To use the common vernacular, ermergerd, such platform unity.
Microsoft has hinted that it intends to merge the Windows RT and Windows Phone platforms into something — I don’t really know what that product would look like. What matters in the above is that Microsoft is better at tying together its not-very-discrete operating systems.
Unlike with Windows 8.x, the above app set is opt-in on Windows Phone. You can Bing on your phone if you want, but if not no worries. For now, at least.
The new apps look like fine mobile counterparts to their tablet/desktop cousins. This is not the last time that we will see Microsoft work to harmonize the Windows 8.x-Windows Phone user experience.