Microsoft releases Bing iPhone app

Microsoft releases Bing iPhone app

Summary: As its officials have been hinting and promising for a while now, Microsoft announced it has developed a version of its Bing search app for the iPhone.

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As its officials have been hinting and promising for a while now, Microsoft announced it has developed a version of its Bing search app for the iPhone.

The new Bing app is available on the iPhone app store as of tonight (December 15).

Microsoft already offers Bing on a number of mobile phones, and has a five-year deal with Verizon to provide Bing on a number of phones available to Verizon Wireless customers. A mobile version of Bing already is available for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, BREW and Sidekick devices on Verizon.

In other Bing news, Microsoft has finally hit the 10 percent market share mark with Bing, according to the November U.S. search share data from comScore. Bing's growth is continuing to come at the expense of Yahoo, not Google.

Update: To those wondering why Microsoft would deliver a version of Bing for the iPhone -- and not decide to make it a WinMo app only, in an attempt to keep more users in the Windows Mobile/Windows Phone fold -- don't forget Microsoft isn't really one big company. It's six or seven different companies, loosely joined, with each business unit doing whatever it takes to build market share and profits for itself. And the iPhone is gaining share while Windows Mobile is ... not.

Update 2: In other Web 2.0 app news, Microsoft is making its Twitter application for its Zune HD available on December 16, according to company officials (via Twitter). So now you'll be able to Tweet from your Zune, as Microsoft said you'd be able to do earlier this year. I'd guess the promised Facebook app for Zune HD isn't far behind.

Update 3: Here's a gallery of screen shots of Bing on the iPhone, from my iPhone-toting colleague Ryan Naraine.

Topics: Mobility, Apps, Hardware, iPhone, Microsoft, Smartphones

About

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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Talkback

22 comments
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  • This app is fantastic

    The most useful all-in-one search app I've seen for the iPhone. It blows away the goggle app.
    pdskep
    • Bing has better maps, better visual search, and better search than google

      It's amazing how fast they leap frogged google technology and product wise so while I haven't tried it (since I would never buy such a crippled phone) I'm not surprised to hear it. I wish there were screen shots or a video...
      Johnny Vegas
      • You can see screen shots on iTunes.

        It is not a bad app and is better than Google in many key areas. Very very
        weak on the voice part. MS really needs to hire someone that can do
        voice.

        With this Bing app on the iPhone, both Google and MS now have great
        apps for the most powerful Smartphone going now.
        Bruizer
      • more bing on iphone screen shots

        from my ZDNet colleague Ryan Naraine can be found here:

        http://content.zdnet.com/2346-9595_22-374083.html?tag=trunk;content

        Thanks. MJ
        Mary Jo Foley
    • People buy Apple to escape Microsoft.

      So this is rather amusing.
      CapitalismAteItself
      • People buy Apple to get a better user experience.

        If MS can offer that. Fine. If Google does that. Fine.
        Bruizer
  • I don't get it

    Why would they make an app for a ridiculously expensive no-keyboard phone, sure to fail in the marketplace?
    HollywoodDog
    • I don't get.....

      Your post. Maybe it has something to do with the iphones market share to help expand the marketshare of Bing. Seems logical to me.
      OhTheHumanity
      • Reeled in a big fish on that one:-) (nt)

        nt
        Bruizer
    • LOL...Nice one Hollywood

      Do I detect some sarcasm at Ballmer's expense?
      CowLauncher
    • LOL [nt]

      [b]
      nix_hed
    • Apple listented to Ballmer

      Maybe because Apple listened to Ballmer's critique and now the iPhone is not ridiculously expensive, and has features the lack of which Ballmer was criticising the iPhone for.

      So, everybody wins when a good advice is followed - Apple has a top-notch device, and MS promotes Bing on it.
      OxBAADFOOD
      • The iPhone was a success before it was upgraded..

        In fact it started out a success despite Ballmer's complaints and Apple
        has done several upgrades but I see no sign they were Balmer motivated.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
  • It is not too bad.

    Actually, it has some amazing strong points like how it
    handles images. Google has lots to learn by looking at
    how MS handles image search on the iPhone VS how
    Google handles image search on the iPhone. MS wins this
    one hands down and Google is a far distant 3rd position.
    And that is in a 2 horse race.

    Bing's maps are really nice and not so nice. They seem a
    bit low resolution and not very crisp. The fonts are not too
    good. BUT... Navigation really seems good to great.
    Multi-touch is very very responsive and map zooming is
    done with flare. With some work (in the fonts area), they
    will be fantastic. Google wins by being a bit more mature.
    MS seems to have something to springboard ahead of
    Google, however. So a tie? Maybe Google a bit ahead on
    the maps aspect.

    Routing in the maps. I got better results on a few sample
    long trips that I tend to take from time to time with Bing.
    They pulled in some short cuts that will trim about 3 hours
    from the trip. I like Bing's routes better.

    Voice. OK, MS should not be allowed to do voice
    recognition. Their Sync system (when it works is great,
    BTW) is hit and miss. Their voice tool on Bing is almost
    always a miss with the resulting text being not even close
    to what I said. "Route" turns into "World"??? WTF? Google
    wins this part without question.

    Homepage. Bing wins this one IMO. Simple and clean.

    Screen rotate. Bing does. Google does not. Sounds like a
    droid commercial.

    In all, a solid app by MS and it will get me to use Bing a bit
    more.
    Bruizer
    • I'm not a fan of Bing search,

      but I do agree that the maps on Bing do work better than the maps with
      Google, which is the major reason I'll use this program.
      nix_hed
  • RE: Microsoft releases Bing iPhone app

    It is amazing that MS decided to attack Google where Google is strongest - at its search. Clearly there are people now at Google running a bit agitated, and a bit scared. Gotta admire MS Bing division guts, they clearly play no games and are dead serious to make some cash.
    OxBAADFOOD
    • Problem is, people don't use Google because of "better search"

      They use Google because everyone else is using
      Google. Therefore that's where the advertisers
      are, and where most search result are. It's
      where most development is because of the large
      user base.

      It's the same reason companies use Microsoft
      software - because all the other companies are
      using it.

      Building something 'better' may or may not be
      useful, but building something first is
      critical.
      HollywoodDog
      • Building something first?

        You mean like how Mac has the first UI and obviously is the premier desktop OS? Or did you mean first as in the Palm pilot, which is now on everyone's shopping list? Or were you thinking Netscape as the first free browser? Wait, I know, you must be referring to Wordstar, the dominant word processor that now is part of even the most simple Netbook. Yes, I see your point. First is important.
        A Gray
        • There were firsts before your firsts.

          First, Mac OS wasn't the first GUI-based OS. Xerox had that one
          system at PARC, and Apple even pre-dated itself with an even more
          expensive system called LISA.

          Second, without Apple's Newton, the PIM and the smartphone may no
          exist in it's current form today, as Newton did predate the Palm Pilot
          by a couple of years. Or what's considered a current generation device
          could actually be a few years removed at this point. Take your pick.

          Third, the first graphical web browser is called Mosaic. You may know
          this name from the About dialog box in Microsoft Internet Explorer,
          which was loosely based on the technology for some time

          Finally, there were word processing programs before WordStar, but
          WordStar was the first major application for the purpose. However,
          the oldest still-existing name for a WYSIWYG word processor is, in
          fact, Microsoft Word. Yeah, MacWrite was first, but Word was
          immediately more popular upon release with home and business users
          alike.
          nix_hed
  • So there is a virus for the iPhone...

    Want a virus? Theres an app for that... well... now there is... *biiiiing*

    But why would anyone want to actually install it???

    No thank you, I don't like my search results censored and slanted towards MS. I'll make my own decisions.
    i8thecat