local scout

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Bing search and speak recognition [How To]

We've looked at Local Scout among other improvements brought to the user in Windows Phone Mango, but nothing beats a British walk through of how to search, use Bing services and the speech recognition. Take a quick look at the above video for a brief overlook in what's new with the search functionality in Windows Phone, while the below how to takes us through running commands with voice in favour of touch.

More information can be found at the Windows Phone UK blog, link below.

Source: MykindofPhone

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We've seen the improvement coming in "Mango" to Bing, which are nothing short of impressive: Vision, Scout, Music, info cards, images, etc. But (and it's a big but) some of those services won't work everywhere in the same fashion. We're talking of course about Scout and Bing Vision. Specifically on the latter, we know it won't do movie posters, books, CDs, barcodes etc only MS Tags and QR codes outside of the US. That's a huge bummer for many as Bing Vision works quite well.

Reader Leon Y. writes in to let us know that these services are not available in Canada--at least on the Mango 7712 ROM. It's actually very simple:

"I currently have the dev build 7712 and I don't know if it works in the RTM build. Also I think this works because I speak English and not another language.

Here's how to do it: Go into the Region+languages in the settings and change the browser & search language to English (United States) and hit the back button to save the changes. The local scout works like a charm and the Bing vision is amazing. I think this will work in other English speaking countries. I don't see a reason for Microsoft disabling this feature for other countries other that the US. I just wanted to share this discovery with everyone"

Anyone else want to confirm and share their experience? It's odd that Local Scout will actually pull info down in countries where it's not available in the OS. We hope for a least a handful of you this will enable these awesome features and that other countries will soon get these services as well.

Update: Works in Germany according to reader @Cyrus1989

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Lots more information coming out from that HTC Mazaa device running Mango RTM build 7720 that we mentioned yesterday morning.

Cpitt over at XDA received the phone as an award for winning a Microsoft sponsored developer contest. Since then he has posted numerous images and detailed some of the changes on board:

  • GPU seems faster - using WP Benchmark, the Mazaa hit 50 FPS vs the HD7 (Mango 7712) at 23 FPS
  • Local Scout in RTM 7720 has its own Tile (edit: this is there in 7712, evidently)
  • Fishtank on the Mazaa is about 47 fps, where it's only abou 30 on the HD7
  • CDMA/GSM dual band

The CDMA/GSM dual band makes this a shoe in for Verizon, though it's doubtful the Mazaa will be released publicly. The faster GPU is potentially a combo of the tweaked RTM 7720 as well as the Adreno 205 GPU chipset that is thought to be on board the Mazaa, giving it a little extra horsepower.

Even though this is basically a revised HTC Trophy, we like where all of this is heading--RTM build of Mango seems fantastic, potentially faster GPU in devices (plus bumping the 30 FPS cap from NoDo) means smoother graphics. We have a good feeling about this fall...

Oh and XDA member lionmilk, who also won one, sold his on eBay for the low-low price of $699.

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Update: App is already out, look at that! You can grab it here in the Marketplace. (Thanks, @hellboy552000 & Oli, for the correction)

Wait, we didn't say the stream of official apps was over did we? Good, because it seems Qype is in line to come to Windows Phone 7 too, scoring a deal with Microsoft. A huge brand in Europe, being the largest consumer review website, and is an extremely popular app on iOS, Android and RIM with over 1 million downloads accumulated.

With Mango coming up, Qype will be able to take advantage of some great features being introduced to developers. The app will make use of Bing's geo-location feature to locate the best places across almost 1,000 categories and provide you with instant-use vouchers. Neat, eh?

Combine this with Local Scout (should it be appearing outside the US) and we'll have a winner in your pocket for travelling. The app wont be limited to only basic Qype features too as check-ins can be published via Twitter and Facebook, reviews can be written and photos uploaded. We'll also have some exclusive-to-WP7 features as Ian Brotherstone, CEO of Qype, explains;

"Exclusive to Windows 7, users will be able to track their friend’s check-ins on a location map, filter searches even further and view important information and tips on the Windows Panaroma Screen. The apps’ big advantage is personalised recommendations; “Someone who has a passion for certain types of bars in London for example, can receive recommendations for similar places in Paris, Hamburg or Buenos Aires."

Frank Fischer, Director Mobile Communications at Microsoft Germany, said:

"More and more smartphone users are accessing the web for local recommendations and Qype is leading the charge in this area. With the innovative local services of the Windows Phone our customers will now be able to access this information whenever and wherever they want to."

Some may see what Microsoft doing is "buying" brands, but I see this as an excellent strategy to build solid interest on the platform and bring big brand apps (which are used by most smartphone users) to customers.

Source: Rooster PR

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Bing in Mango is to receive the addition of a location based service called Local Scout. This service, upon activation, will search and display local places to eat, drink, shop and explore. Users will be able to save certain individual results to their favorites.

What's even better about this feature is the integration (which is a focus with Mango) it has with Mail and Calendar. Should you receive an invitation via email or have one synchronized in your calendar, simply selecting that location will open up Local Scout which will show points of interest.

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