3.14.2011

(7/9) BING SEARCH AND MAPS AND INTERNET EXPLORER IN HTC 7 MOZART

To take advantage of the Mozart, one has to really have a good or atleast a decent internet connection with it. As this phone really is a social networking phone, the capabilities of the Mozart are harnessed to its full potential when you are basically online. Incorporated with it being highly dependent on good connectivity, Windows Phone 7 included the Maps, Bing Search Engine and Windows' native browser, the Internet Explorer.

Looking from a point of view of a Engineer/GIS/GPS specialist here are my views of the following features,

BING MAPS
As I have been into cartography and really into the mapping business, I really find the Bing Maps pretty on the basic navigation and map viewing capability that a phone can provide. As very typical of mapping features, Bing Maps provide both the street view and the satellite view of a certain location. The street view where the names of the places and the vector-based delineation of the roads and other cultural features are present is displayed on default when we open the Bing Map tile. We may opt to view the satellite image -which is I think a 0.6m resolution Quickbird Satellite Image, loads quite fast considering the fact that it is raster based. When the two views are overlaid, we get a rich dose of information on the place that we are navigating into plus the rigid orthographic view of the vicinity as if we are on board a helicopter seeing the roofs of the houses and buildings in near real time. The transition of panning the map in different directions is a bit snappy. The images and the labels load quite fast and the caching of the zoom in and zoom out feature is efficiently fast. Sadly though I find the Bing search button not synced with the maps. As I go querying for a certain location, I am redirected to the usual search engine results and not the location in the map.

When one enters into a mapping service, the first thing that one may want to look into or find in a map is his house. Oh well yeah, I really found our house and I'm good at that. And because I'm located in Metro Manila, Philippines it is really easy for me to see a relatively up to date image as compared with that of the rural areas. I think Bing maps should come up with a collaborative mapping feature just like that of Googlemaps so as to allow grassroots involvement in naming places and features in their maps. An augmented reality mapping feature linked with the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is what I am looking forward in this Bing Maps. As we have been admitted to the fact that this Mozart running Windows Phone 7 OS is the ultimate social networking phone, we might want to do location based services linked with our favorite social networks.

I also hope that this Bing Maps in Mozart can be used for navigation. As we have always been inside our ride going here and there, and since Mozart has a GPS receiver inside it, it would actually be really nice to use it as my own GPS navigation device inside our car with Bing Maps on the background.

Summing things up, I think the strong points of Bing Maps over the other mapping services I have used in other platforms is its smooth transition on Panning, Zooming in and out and it's efficient map caching. All on the hardware side perhaps. The features that needs for improvement is the Map Seach feature for location-based searches and the level of detail of the street maps here in the Philippines. Oh well, after all, these maps show off quite snappily inside my really SMARTphone so again, I am good with it and satisfied of course.

BING SEARCH
Being one of the dedicated buttons innate of a Windows phone, the Bing search button (on the lower right portion of the phone) works amazingly. Depending on the application that I am currently into, the search function readily changes with it. If I'm on the marketplace, it would search for apps, if I'm on my pictures hub, it would search for photos as I am on my People Hub, it searches for people on my phone too. The default function of the Bing Search button is the Bing search engine. The Bing search engine makes me forget of Google search. It gives the answer on my searches on the first few search results. I am pretty satisfied with this one running on my mobile. And the most interesting feature is the voice command search which works pretty amazing for the English language. This is a far cry from the usual mobile search engine. I remember being on class these days, if I am not familiar of the term my professor or even colleagues in the industry would mention, I just do the ever accessible Bing search in my phone and walla... I am a genius flaunting a know-it-all pride...all with the help of my ever reliable Bing Search on my Mozart. Oh well..the quiet confidence of having Mozart lives on!

INTERNET EXPLORER
The Internet Explorer is capable of multi tasking and I love it. I love the fact that I don't have to install another browser that can do tabbed browsing. It can open a maximum of 6 pages simultaneously and it's great. The desktop version of the internet explorer works much like this mobile version. It remembers the web pages that I have recently opened so I don't have to type the exact address. It also auto-completes the addresses I am typing in the url box. I wouldn't say much about the IE because indeed this browser is already an institution in web computing so indeed it is a pride for me to have it running in my mobile. Really helped me a lot in being productive while on mobility.

And one last thing well commended about the web connectivity of the Mozart is the really seamless access to wi-fi connection supporting proxy configuration.

I have to say this, this Windows platform offers the easiest proxy configuration feature of the phones I have ever handled. With a single tap on the Wi-fi connection, I am connected, and just another click, proxy settings are already on my fingertips. (Thanks tin!) No geeky-know-how needed to utilize the potentials of a Windows Phone and I love it. With the Bing Maps, Internet explorer and Bing Search right here inside my Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious phone I am connected anywhere, with anyone in no time! You know quiet confidence? I have it when I am with my quietly brilliant phone... (^_^)
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