Redmond, Washington — Even though Microsoft’s Windows Mobile business competes with iPhone maker Apple, the Redmond, Wash., software maker’s new Bing app is pushing its Bing search engine pretty hard into the mobile space. The application made its debute in the iPhone Apps Store yesterday and can be downloaded directly to the iPhone if users so wish.
For instance, the app, which is available free of cost, supports straight Web searches (and even provides suggestions as you type search terms), as well as other specialized queries supported by Bing, such as voice search, which allows you to speak a search term into the phone, and Bing will locate the search results and map it if it has a location, plus images, videos, maps, business locations, and news.
Microsoft has released a Bing search application for Apple’s iPhone
Like its major competitor, the recently-updated Google Mobile App, Bing will plug into the iPhone’s GSP, which means it will do its best to return locally related search results when you are seeking places such as restaurants, banks, or theaters. Bing will then display either driving or walking directions to those places. The app’s map interface provides several useful tools, including local traffic and step-by-step directions.
CEO Steve Ballmer has said Microsoft’s strategy is to concentrate on developing software for smartphones. Windows Mobile 6.5 which came out this fall disappointed many. Windows Mobile 7.0 is scheduled to come out in 2010.
Microsoft suggests that Seadragon technology is behind its mapping application, which allows users to swipe through directions, pinch to zoom in/out, as well as pan around maps.
Other features include: daily image from Bing.com; tips and tricks on the home page; a “locate me” functionality; the ability to add push-pins and save locations; and the ability to show multiple locations on a single map.
Bing is already available for BlackBerries, Windows Mobile phones and other mobile browsers, and it works with any iPhone or second-generation iPod touch running iPhone OS 3.0 or later.