While I'm still prepping an ode to the wonder of the Bing apps in Windows 8.1, I'm excited to see that another of the new apps, Bing Food & Drink, is now available in Beta form for Windows Phone 8. It joins other mobile versions of the exceptional Bing apps, including Bing News, Finance, Sports, and Weather, and, of course, Maps, which comes with the platform.
By the way, I recently finished the first draft chapter version of the chapter about the Bing Apps for Windows 8.1 Book. Be sure to grab a copy—it's only $2 for crying out loud—as we barrel towards the 1.0 release.
But because of this, the Bing apps have been in my head for the past ten days or so, and I'm using them a lot more than I use to. The reason is simple: They're far better than I originally realized, especially the two new Bing apps that debuted in Windows 8.1, Bing Food & Drink and Bing Health & Fitness. So one of my many thoughts about these apps was when or if Windows Phone 8 versions would ever appear and, if so, when?
Today, Microsoft makes mobile versions of Bing Finance, Bing News, Bing Sports and Bing Weather available on Windows Phone. That leaves Bing Travel, also excellent, and those two new apps that debuted in Windows 8.1. (Update: Turns out Bing Travel Beta for Windows Phone 8 is also available.) With this week's release of a new Bing Food & Drink Beta app for Windows Phone 8, however, we're one (pre-release) step closer to platform parity.
I'll need to spend some more time with the app to see whether it's full Food & Drink experience, but a quick flythrough suggests it is. (I'm most curious about cross-device sync. For example, if you create a collection in Bing Food & Drink on the PC, it should sync to the phone too.) But it presents the same basic set of sections across its panoramic UI.
It's also formatted nicely for the phone. So each of those panoramic sections offers extensive vertical scrolling too. There's a lot of content in here.
There doesn't appear to be the cool hands-free mode, or the tips and techniques videos and chef sections from the Windows 8.1/RT version, but you do get lots of recipes, cocktails, wine information, and news. Overall, it looks pretty good.
You can download Bing Food & Drink Beta from the Windows Phone Store.