Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

Summary: Microsoft's Bing and Hotmail teams are both doing more to improve their experiences on iOS, Android -- and, oh, yeah, Windows platforms, too.


On the same day that Google delivered its (temporarily revoked and buggy) Gmail client for Apple's iOS devices, a couple of Microsoft product teams made sure to make it known that they're supporting iOS, too.

The Bing team announced new versions of its Bing for Mobile app for iPhone and Android on November 2. The updated version "uses HTML5 to blend the mobile browse experience with the app experience so you get a consistent and fast mobile search experience whether you’re using from your browser or the Bing app," according to the post from Santanu Basu, Product Manager, Bing for Mobile.

The new Bing mobile "hybrid" app is only available for iPhones running iOS 4 and higher and "select" Android devices in the U.S. No word from the team as to when they'll deliver "the same consistent experience" for RIM and Windows Phone 7 devices, though they say this is coming. (Before the Windows Phone Mango update, Microsoft officials used to say the Windows Phone support lagged because the phone didn't include an HTML5 browser, but that's no longer the case.) The new Bing Mobile app also is not for the iPad; there's no word on when and if Microsoft will refresh the Bing app for iPad with this update.

It's worth noting the new app is an update to the existing iPhone and Android mobile clients, not a replacement. It's also not a replacement for the Web experience.

"The updated apps now leverage HTML5, while also still offering the same benefits of native apps, such as voice-search and Bing Vision, which lets you search using your phone’s camera," explained a Microsoft Bing spokesperson. "The updated apps allow Microsoft to provide a consistent consumer experience across multiple mobile platforms (iOS, Android,, etc.), and deliver more frequent updates and eliminate the need for numerous manual app updates by the user," the spokesperson said.

The Bing team wasn't the only Microsoft team spreading the ecumenical message this week. On November 2, the Hotmail team blogged about its support for Hotmail on iOS 5 platforms.

"Although we’ve had this (iOS) support for a year already, with the release of iOS 5 it is now even easier to set up Hotmail on your iPhone or iPad.  Since the release of iOS 5, more than 2 million customers have connected Hotmail to iPhones or iPads, and we’re just getting started—almost 100,000 new iOS 5 devices are being set up with Hotmail every day," blogged Corporate Vice President of Windows Live Chris Jones, .

Topics: Microsoft, Apple, Browser, CXO, Collaboration, Mobile OS, Mobility, Operating Systems


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

    the issue with WP7 is more than that. It is not app that gets updated. They have to update the OS because bing is part of the OS. When they update the OS, automatically update to bing will be rolled. Thus, don't think they are neglecting WP7 platform or don't try to fill in between lines please.
    Ram U
    • This is not the integrated Bing, though

      This is a downloadable Bing app. I am not "trying to fill in between the lines." I am asking -- like a number of Windows Phone users -- why they cannot do this. If it is because of marketshare priorities, OK. But technologically, I do not see why it isn't feasible now. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

        @Mary Jo Foley
        Hmmm. I don't see any bing app in the Marketplace. I see only integrated bing i.e. whenever you click on search icon on the phone or whenever you use search. Since the OS has integration with bing, why do we need a seperate app again. I agree with you on one point if the carrier changes search engine to Google or other due to some agreements, Microsoft needs a seperate app, other than that I don't see any requirement and I don't see any trouble as long as they update all types of Windows Phones consistently with features like they promised.
        Ram U
      • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

        @Mary Jo Foley I don't see why you would want or need a Bing app on WP7. It's just part of the WP7 OS experience. But, if you are saying you like the UI/UX of the Bing app on iOS better than what's on WP7, that's a different story.
  • The Bing App for iPad is impressive.

    Very well done with a great UI and design. It is one the few apps (outside the standard Apple supplied set) that I use daily for news and such.
  • Me too!

    Haven't I heard that from Microsoft before?
  • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

    Well, sort of.

    When is Microsoft going to port Microsoft Office from OS X to iOS? A slimmed-down Microsoft Office would be a killer app for the iPad.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

      @Rabid Howler Monkey
      Ram U
    • Office Mobile Hub

      @Rabid Howler Monkey

      That they have for WP would be awesome. They could charge 5-10 bucks and make a good chunk of money. Plus if they built it the same as the office hub they'll be able to introduce those users to a metro style app.
    • Office on Windows helps with MS lock-in

      Even though Office is available for the Mac, it's often deemed a "lesser" version than the Windows version.<br><br>Creating Office for iOS devices would IMO lessen the reason to buy a Windows-based phone or tablet and keep the iPhone and iPad on the preferred list of many corporations, the last thing MS would want. MS controls the desktop so a Mac version of Office does little damage to MS's "monopoly" there but it's presently far behind in mobile.<br><br>Look at HP's recent decision to target it's Slate 2 (with Windows) at businesses rather than the consumer. I believe even HP has stated that it is depending on that Windows/MS lock-in (in so many words) to drive Windows-based HP tablet sales (ie, business knows MS technology, blends/plays nice with existing MS infrastructure, is comfortable with it, etc).<br><br>So probably no iOS version of Office until MS feels it's gained traction in the mobile space.
      • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

        @MacCanuck Seriously? When I see Pages for Windows 7 or 8 your argument willl make sense.
      • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

        @MacCanuck +1
  • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

    I think it's "the enemy of my emeny is my friend" senario. Although Apple and Microsoft are rivals, they still work together on many projects and have been for years. I went back and seen the interview with Steve and Bill on Allthings D. Apple's first software was partly written by Microsoft. They are both out to stop Google!
    lenalfred DaredDarkurious
    • Bing app is also on Android


      I don't think the Bing team sees any potential platform as the enemy, even if other MS divisions do.
  • Still can't download it on my Xoom

    at least not from the market.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • Sorry, I missed that - what's Bing?

    I though it was a type of cherry.
  • Try again... what is Bing?

    Somebody help me here - isn't it a sound that my stove makes when the timer finishes?
    • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

      @no_axe_to__grind <br><br>It is. It's also a great search engine. But I'm guessing you knew that (hopefully, sheesh, or you live in isolation/denial). I mean, even the guys at Google know that. They talk about it regularly. Hmm, what makes a 'google' sound....<br><br>You're welcome for the help. :)
  • Bing for iOS5 browser tried to change my default

    search engine to Bing. I had to hit cancel to prevent it from doing so.
  • RE: Microsoft: Hey, we're supporting Apple's iOS, too

    my classmate's mom makes $68/hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her check was $7564 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read this site