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

Microsoft's Bing and Hotmail teams are both doing more to improve their experiences on iOS, Android -- and, oh, yeah, Windows platforms, too.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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 m.bing.com 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 m.bing.com 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, m.bing.com, 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, .

Editorial standards