The Great Windows Phone Migration pt. 2

The Search Button

 Android and Windows Phone 7 both have dedicated search buttons. The Android search button is context sensitive, so if the current application supports search then you will use whatever search functionality it provides. Apparently pre-Mango Windows Phone 7 was like this, but now when you press the search button the Bing search application will open. The Bing search results are presented in a very un-compact fashion, with only 3-4 results fitting on the screen at a time. You also only get 4 web results and 4 news results displayed before having to click the 'load more results' link, this is annoying for me as I normally want to search a reasonable amount of web results. Even worse is that you cannot open the results in a new tab, so you end up in a workflow like this:

  1. While in Internet Explorer you press the search button (or enter a search term into the address bar).
  2. The Bing search application opens up.
  3. Enter a search term and press the search button.
  4. Select a single result to open in Internet Explorer.
  5. To select another search result, hold the back button to open the recent applications and select the Bing search application.
  6. Select another result to open in Internet Explorer (or press the 'load more results' link if you can't find it in the top 4 results).
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 until you find what you are after.

It is very convoluted and it would be a lot simple if the search results were shown on a normal Bing search page in Internet Explorer and you could open the links in new tabs (even better would be to open them in background tabs).

There is also no option to change the default search engine to Google, Wikipedia or any other provider. Bing also does not search your phone for local content.

In conclusion, it is great to have a dedicated search button, but in reality such a button is wasted as the convoluted implementation doesn't save much time.