Microsoft Bing's it's Way Onto the iPhone With New Search App


Microsoft has just made Bing [Free - iTunes app] their second iPhone and iPod touch app (no, Office wasn't first -- that's still MIA -- the amazing image-zooming Seadragon was), and it's fairly impressive. It takes a lot of the services Google powers throughout the iPhone and the Google Mobile app and collects them all in one place -- internet text string search, image, movies, a business directory, news, and maps and directions. You can also do Voice Search though without the accelerometer and proximity sensor tricks that make's Google's version so Star Trek.

The Bing app is great looking as well, with large photo backgrounds a la Bing website (and yes, you can tap the rounded square overlays to get factoids). Text string searches are pretty much on par with Google, sometimes returning more sensible results in more logical orders, sometimes not. A simple image search for "theiphoneblog bing", however, returned no results from the Bing app, and exactly what I was looking for in Google. (see below). Likewise, Voice Search tended to crash the app when it went into "thinking" mode. The business and other directory-style information is great, as usual with Bing.

If you're interested in comparing Microsoft's own Windows Mobile version, our buddy Phil from WMExperts has you covered. If you're wondering why Microsoft made Bing for the iPhone, despite Steve Ballmer cracking wise about the iPhone and the internet, Apple's platform enjoys a huge share of the mobile browsing space and Bing wants those eyeballs as much as the just-as-competitive-now Google.

Screenshots after the break!

[Bing via Thurrott]

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Microsoft Bing's it's Way Onto the iPhone With New Search App


I've noticed this app crashes for me a lot, tried restarting the phone a few times no luck so far. Great looking interface though.

I need more screens, it's hard deleting apps making space for new ones that I want to show up on a screen, is there a way to search and see all apps not on one of the pages?

Why does search need an application, rather than run in the browser?
Then again, Microsoft's Bing Maps uses its own proprietary Silverlight to run, rather than basing it on W3C web standards like HTML 5.
Maybe Microsoft needs to implant its proprietary code into other phone platforms just to make Bing work. As long as Microsoft continues to try to own the internet and reject standards, I will continue to use Google search (Google's new offerings are based on HTML 5).

I do like the way it looks. If only google had a built in voiceoption in their browser like how bing does. I also like that the black color/theme matches well with the rest of the device, and how this app handles images.

to be fair, im slightly tempted to use bing for everyday searches, this app and their website is great... but search results suck for everything thats not super-famous
and yeah, name "bing" sucks too, always reminds me of Chandler from Friends and its not as catchy as "Google"

The proximity sensor absolutely does work in the Bing app. Just raise the phone to your ear and the voice search is activated. :-) I think this is a killer 1.0 release.

Using it now, have to say it's very nice. I like the map better then Google's. Feels really snappy also, everything response right away.

I just want Apple to add Microsoft email (Windows Live / Hotmail).
POP3 sucks, has anyone figured out an IMAP push setup.

You can copy a image, but can't save it from Bing... that's sad... just wait for a update :D

FYI, this is Microsoft's third app for the iPhone/iPod touch. Seadragon was first, followed by the Microsoft Tag Reader.