One of Google's big innovations in Android Marshmallow is Now On-Tap, a contextual search service that uses the content on your screen to perform searches and find relevant information. It's only going to work on Android 6.0, but Microsoft has just updated the Bing app with a similar feature called Snapshots that will work on any device.

If you choose to use Snapshots in the new Bing app, you'll have to enable accessibility mode in the settings. That's how Bing reads your screen to provide search results. It binds to the Google Now gesture on your phone, which is either a swipe up from the home button or a long-press on a physical home button.

The "Snapshot" is basically a floating Bing search with a few extra links based on context. I've been playing around with it a bit, and sometimes it does seem really cool. For example, it picked out "Kimmy Schmidt" in a Hangouts conversation and loaded the IMDB page. However, it doesn't seem to pick up on anything in Gmail. There's also no integration with other apps or services like there will be with On-Tap, and it's missing the context provided by all the Google data on the phone.

So Bing Snapshots is neat, and might be very useful with a little more development. I don't think it's designed to have as many features as On-Tap, but it's just an app after all. At least more people will be able to use it that way. Now On-Tap will only run on Marshmallow devices, which will surely be quite rare in the coming months.

Bing Search
Bing Search
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