Bing’s new additions are all part of creating a “richer” experience for the users, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president Brian MacDonald said in a company statement.
The Food & Drink app is aimed at bringing out users’ inner chef, with access to thousands of recipes from popular cookbooks, recipe websites and one-of-a-kind creations from world-renowned masters of cuisine.
The app features a hands-free mode which allows users to follow recipes step-by-step on their device. Movements are controlled with a wave of the hand as part of Windows’ gesture controls. Recipes can be browsed by meal, level of difficulty, or ingredients, and most are accompanied by photographs. Users can also browse helpful tips, cooking techniques and guides to assist them along the way.
Favorite recipes can be assembled into a personal cookbook categorized by meal plans or recipes users want to save and try in the future, among other options. If the user spots a recipe, but doesn’t have all the required ingredients, they can create a shopping list that can be saved on their tablet, e-mailed to their Smartphone or printed.
Wine enthusiasts will be happy to know the app features a complete encyclopedia cataloging more than 1.5 million different kinds of wine along with 3.3 million tasting notes and hundreds of different cocktail recipes to help the user choose the drink that will best compliment the meal.
Microsoft has also added the Health & Fitness app, designed to bring together “nutrition, fitness and medical information customized to (consumers’) own personal needs,” according to a statement from Microsoft.
Users have access to more than 200,000 foods as part of a food journal aimed at helping dieters keep their caloric intake in check. Foods come with full nutrition profiles and the app provides weekly and monthly progress reports.
For fitness enthusiasts, the app features videos and instructional guides for more than 1,000 different exercises that can be searched by body part, intensity, duration or required equipment.
A 3D body map provides a visual way to users to learn about different systems in the body, while the symptom checker option allows users to input symptoms they’re experiencing and access a list of possible conditions. There’s also hundreds medical articles related to health and wellness.
The new apps will join six others that launched back in October including news, finance, weather, sports, maps and travel.