Microsoft's 'super app' could have everything you need under one roof

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Microsoft is reportedly mulling a new "super app" for the iPhone that would take multiple apps and features and put them under one roof. People would then use the app for numerous different reasons, including search.

That search capability is a critical driving force behind the move. Microsoft is keen to use the app to boost the company's advertising business via the Bing search engine.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Super App!

The Information (opens in new tab) reports that Microsoft has been considering the launch of the so-called super app to "combine shopping, messaging, web search, news feeds and other services in a one-stop smartphone app." The approach is similar to the one taken by Tencent in China, with WeChat being the go-to app for various things, including payments. Microsoft's desire to follow suit could see Bing, the Office apps, and more all placed under one roof.

However, the report does note that it isn't yet clear if Microsoft will go ahead and launch such an app or if it will fall by the wayside. However, it's said to be something that has already been discussed within Microsoft and is a project led by CEO Satya Nadella. One aim is to make Bing search work better with other Microsoft apps and services, possibly by integrating them into a single app that would be downloaded from the App Store.

The same report notes the potential for a deal that would see Microsoft's Bing take over from Google as the default search engine on iPhones and iPads. Google currently pays Apple for the privilege, with Microsoft considering taking over. However, again, this hasn't been confirmed, and The Information notes that it might not turn into anything.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.