Today, Microsoft (or the Bing team) released several Bing apps to the Windows Phone Store that debuted in Windows 8. I installed the Bing News app on my Windows Phone and it certainly looks great and intuitive just like the app on Windows 8. It even has breaking news notifications (in case of any). But there was something that it lacked that disappointed me: sharing.
While using the Bing News app in Windows 8, we can easily share an interesting article to Facebook or Twitter by simply activating the charms (Windows + C) and hitting the Share charm (or hit Windows + H). In this case, sharing is built into Windows 8 and it wouldn’t make sense to not use it with a news app, also considering that this is a Microsoft app as well.
On Windows Phone, sharing to social networks is also built into the OS, but for some odd reason Microsoft decided not to use it in the app’s first release. It might not sound like a big deal but to me it is. For Microsoft to not make full use of their own platform’s features sends a negative message to developers around the world that are or were interested in developing apps for Windows Phone.
Microsoft keeps advertising and educating us on how easy it is make use of these so called ‘contracts’ in the Windows Phone SDK, yet they don’t even use it themselves in their own apps(in this case, the Share contract is used to share stuff on Windows Phone)? If I was the lead in developing that Bing News app I would make sure the app acted like a role model for all developers to take cues from that are interested in developing similar news apps. Also, the simple act of sharing a news article is crucial for an app of that nature that it’s quite shocking that it wasn’t part of the first release.
On the other hand, I am happy to see Microsoft making their official apps available on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 and I am looking forward for more to come (especially a Windows Reading List app for Windows Phone).