Microsoft refreshes Bing for iPad app with 'Lasso' touch search

Microsoft refreshes Bing for iPad app with 'Lasso' touch search

Summary: Microsoft is rolling out an update to its Bing for iPad application with new "Lasso" touch-search technology.


In April this year, Microsoft released a Bing application for the iPad. On July 5, it updated that app, adding a new touch-search capability known as Lasso, to the release.

Lasso allows users to search outside the search box, the Softies said, by circling a desired term and then searching for it. Microsoft officials said Lasso will let Bing iPad users do in two steps what otherwise could take them nine (if they rely on the iOS operating system's cut-and-paste functionality).

"What you’re seeing today is only the beginning. Lasso moves Bing beyond the search box. Although it will only be available in Bing for iPad to begin with, we’re already thinking about how to take Lasso even further – so stay tuned," according to a blog post on the Bing Community blog.

The updated Bing app, slated to be available later today in the App Store, also provides an enhanced movie experience, allowing users to view multiple showtime days and theaters; plus the ability to swipe through the last six Bing homepage images; along with "hundreds of quality and performance improvements based on what we heard from you," according to the post.

Here's Microsoft's video clip of how Lasso works:

Microsoft's Bing team has been delivering a number of search advances for users of mobile devices and smartphones other than Microsoft's own. Microsoft officials have said that Windows Phone users will get some of the Bing improvements already received by others once Microsoft ships the Mango operating system update later this year, as that update will include an HTML5-capable version of Internet Explorer for Windows Phone.

The refreshed Bing for iPad (version 1.1) is not available outside the U.S. (I believe). When I asked about Microsoft's international rollout plans, a spokesperson said: "We’re working to expand to more markets in the future and will announce additional locations as they become available."

Topics: Microsoft, Browser, iPad, Mobility


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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  • Still not in Canada

    At the very least, they can let us Canadians use the US version!
    • RE: Microsoft refreshes Bing for iPad app with 'Lasso' touch search

      @MaxxDelusional Why can't they open this up to other countries the UK supports local scout on WP7 Mango so why not the iPad app too!
  • Good work, Microsoft -- they really did improve user experience here

    The subject.
  • RE: Microsoft refreshes Bing for iPad app with 'Lasso' touch search

    innovation? yes? I wonder if they patented this or has it been done already?
    • Of course they ripped it off from Apple

      @blazing_smiley_face Apple invented everything.
      • RE: Microsoft refreshes Bing for iPad app with 'Lasso' touch search

        @MSFTWorshipper <br><br>um, was that sarcasm? I don't have a good sarcasm detector so you will have to explicitly say if it was or not.

        but if it wasn't then please show a link where this was implemented in any of apple's products by apple.
      • RE: Microsoft refreshes Bing for iPad app with 'Lasso' touch search

        @blazing_smiley_face <br>I think it was sarcasm because some of the posters here like Rick_K claim whatever MSFTWorshipper mentioned.
        Ram U
  • RE: Microsoft refreshes Bing for iPad app with 'Lasso' touch search

    Using IE9 on the Mango beta Mary and it appears to do everything they promised. I can now run my web apps on the phone that function correctly (they use dynamic text and graphics display with synchronised voice-over and video). Still won't work on iOS of course, until Apple gives up it's attempts to stop web apps by not implementing HTML 5 autoplay.

    Overall, Mango is really nice - I especially like the conversation views in Outlook - saves a lot of time looking up previous messages.
  • Bing is so much better than google now it's not even funny

    Anyone still using google on an iPhone/ipad or android phone is living in the dark ages.
    Johnny Vegas
  • A few thoughts on the MS Bing App for iOS

    When this app first appeared, it became obvious to me that a superior iOS app had been created and I placed the Bing App icon on my iPad dock shortly after downloading it to my iPad. (About the only Bing App function I was "disappointed" with was the "search by voice input" feature. Its usability benefits were far behind the similar feature set offered by Nuance Communications Dragon Search, IMO.)

    However, I have tried the lasso text selection feature of the latest Bing App version and I like it. That feature does what it says it will do and it does it quickly.

    Nicely done, MS.
  • Bing USA

    For a company that has such amazing international support in Windows and Office, I'm staggered that Microsoft still hasn't rereleased Bing for iOS to the rest of us. When Bing for iPhone came out it appeared in the New Zealand App Store. It crashed very easily. It then disappeared from our App Store. Will it ever return? As good as it is, using Bing is regarded as something of a joke by those (in NZ) who have even heard of Bing. Making available a great app for iOS would help Bing to be regarded seriously here.