Category Archives: Bing

Bing Offers Group Check-In App for Windows Phone 7

Microsoft’s Bing mobile search team launched a group check-in application called We’re In to play in the group communications space with Google, Facebook and others.

When it comes to socially oriented mobile applications, Facebook and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) tend to be among the leaders in mind and market share.

Facebook just launched Facebook Messenger, and Google+ includes Hangouts and Huddle apps.

Microsoft wants to play there as well via Bing. The company launched We’re In, an application for Windows Phone 7 (WP7) smartphones that lets users invite their friends to share their location and post status updates.

While Foursquare, Facebook Places and Latitude offer check-in capabilities for individual users, We’re In is a group check-in application for friends who want to find each other within crowds. When invitees join, they agree to share their location with other Windows Phone 7 users via Bing Maps.

Users must provide their mobile phone numbers to sign up and then must pick friends or enter phone numbers from their WP7 contacts. The users then tell their friends what the plan is and how long they want to share location info for the proposed meet-up.

Invitees receive a text message with these details, and they may then use the app to join the person who invited them. Users of phones other than WP7, such as iPhone or Android handsets, needn’t worry about being left out.

Those users will also receive a text from We’re In and may join from the mobile Website via the invite. However, the Bing mobile team is also working to port We’re In as a native app for other platforms.

When friends join the We’re In meet-up, their locations surface on the Bing Map, with everyone who joined able to see everyone else’s location.

We’re In users may also update their status to let friends know that they’re on their way or are running late, among other details. We’re In’s People tab aggregates the status messages of everyone who has joined the meet-up.

Bing has decent privacy measures in place so that users aren’t letting themselves be tracked by friends all of the time. For example, when the invite expires, the shared location does as well. Users may also stop sharing their location info at any time by tapping “leave” on the People tab.

Group communications services are becoming increasingly popular. Skype, the VOIP company being acquired by Microsoft, has just purchased group messaging service GroupMe. Facebook purchased group chat specialist Beluga and launched a Facebook Messenger group chat application based on those company’s assets.

The Google+ social network launched with Hangouts for group videoconferencing and Huddle group messaging for handsets.

Clearly, Bing is eager to grab a piece of this action for its nascent WP7 platform. With a group check-in model, Bing has a fresh approach compared to those companies. Perhaps the app can eventually provide some rewards for users who check in to group meetings and places first.

It’s unclear whether the difference will appeal enough to users to boost user engagement, both of Bing’s mobile search and WP7.



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Nokia revamping Navteq as social location platform

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is at work on a massive overhaul of its Navteq navigation and location-based solutions unit that will reposition the platform to target social location-enabled applications, services and developer tools. An internal memo obtained by Phone Scoop indicates that effective May 1, Nokia EVP Tero Ojanpera and Navteq CEO Larry Kaplan will commence work on a new business unit that consolidates all of Nokia’s location assets designed to deliver differentiated geo-specific social services as well as hyper-local mobile advertising services for brands and merchants.

Nokia and Navteq will target Nokia devices (including future smartphones running Microsoft’s [NASDAQ:MSFT]’s Windows Phone 7 operating system) and also will “focus on horizontal services that target Nokia devices, and beyond Nokia devices, including the ongoing availability of Navteq data to all its B2B partners.”

The report adds that many of Nokia and Navteq’s respective sub-units are to be transferred and/or shifted to new teams in conjunction with the platform revamp, with most falling under Nokia’s new Mobile Phones Business Unit.

Nokia acquired Navteq for $8.1 billion in late 2007, building out the platform’s navigation services with subsequent purchases like 3D urban modeling software developer PixelActive and crowdsourced traffic alert solutions provider Trapster.

Earlier this year, Nokia announced it will embrace Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system as its primary smartphone platform, teaming with Microsoft to forge a worldwide mobile ecosystem integrating their respective assets–for example, Microsoft’s Bing engine will power search across Nokia devices and services, and Microsoft assets like Bing and AdCenter will incorporate the Nokia Maps solution. The companies are slated to begin shipping Windows Phone-powered Nokia devices in 2012.


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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Bing, Nokia


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Bing Mobile Goes HTML5, Windows Phone 7 Can’t Partake

Google might be the biggest, but it isn’t the only game in town when it comes to mobile search. Microsoft announced today that Bing Mobile has gotten a significant update that includes changes to the core HTML5 functionality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Android, Bing, Mobile


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