More on Windows Phone 8 – New Bing features, custom audio alerts and more

With more screen caps from the Windows Phone 8 SDK coming out we can glean a lot of new functionality that is coming to the new OS this fall. In fact at this rate we’re not sure what Microsoft will have left to tell us come September/October.

Head past the break for a break down of a few new features that we’ve come across including:

  • New features for Bing including Deals, Buzz and News
  • Custom audio alerts
  • Bing Map improvements
  • Photo Hub options
  • Email dictation

It’s sure to make an exciting OS and we think many of you will appreciate the new additions.

Bing has always been that technology we wanted to see more of in Windows Phone and now that looks to be the case with WP8. The service has greatly expanded in the upcoming OS with a ton of new features including:

  • Bing Local Deals (via Scoupons)
  • Bing News
  • Bing Buzz (movies)
  • Bing Top Videos
  • Local Events
  • Allow search from Lock screen
  • Personalized suggestions (apps, nearby places, deals)

Bing Deals is what it sounds like. Using the service Scoupon (, Bing Deals will show you all the awesome offers in your area. If you’re thinking “that sounds like Groupon” you would be right though Scoupons seems a little less greedy than the Groupon boys.

Bing News, Top Videos and Buzz are all extensions of the news service in Bing. Now you can get the latest headlines, watch the highest ranked videos and get reviews and “the buzz” on current events or movies (e.g. ratings).

Local Events sounds like a Scout extension with the service displaying the latest in concerts, shows, events and more.

Finally, Bing can optionally recommend apps, nearby places and deals based on your preferences to complete the experience.

Maps of course are going to be powered by Nokia and we’ve already seen a lot with those changes in our previous write up. Two other areas though we forgot to mention:

  • Show nearby Wi-Fi
  • Download for offline usage

The find Wi-Fi feature was mentioned during the Windows Phone Summit and is for showing you free, open Wi-Fi around your location. Perfect for saving data or if you’re in a pinch.

Offline maps will allow you to download the maps in your local area for quick access and savings on data usage, finally matching what Android can do with Google Maps already.

The Photo Hub gets more “tools” to allow easy adjustments of your photos, those features are:

  • Edit photos – crop, rotate, fix, aspect ratio

While many of us use third party apps for those functions, it’s pretty great to have them baked into the OS.

While we don’t know much about the Xbox Music cloud collection, you’ll have access to it on your Windows Phone 8 device. Presumably this is a way to share your music stored in the cloud but available on your PC, Xbox and Windows Phone.

Finally, custom audio alerts are coming to Windows Phone 8. Yes, you can finally set your favorite sounds for your favorite notifications:

  • Voicemail
  • Email
  • Text or IM
  • Email

We’re sure for many of you, this will “complete” the OS and while it is a simple thing to rejoice for (like screen capture) it’s still great to get confirmation that it is there for us to use.

WP Central

Oh and over at Mi Movil Windows, they found out that dictating your emails via Bing TellMe (Voice Command) will also be a new feature in Windows Phone 8. Once again, this is one of those features we would assume is there but it’s great to see it confirmed.

Source: Imgur; Thanks, Himanshpal, for the link

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.