Last week, Bing refreshed its Android app. Today, Bing announced an upgrade of its app for the iPad. The primary driver of the redesign was iOS 7 and the aesthetics of the new Bing app are intended to match the new Apple OS.
One of the most promoted new features, as on the Android app, is the ability to save the Bing daily image as homescreen or lockscreen wallpaper on the device. (This was apparently an often-requested feature.) In addition bookmarks can be saved/synced via Skydrive so that they can be accessed on other devices.
The new app also permits sharing of search results via Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. There have also been a number of improvements to maps results. However iOS users don’t (yet) receive the full, redesigned Bing Maps experience, which is currently reserved for Windows PC and Surface users.
Voice search is also present, though that existed in the previous version.
As with Bing for the iPhone and Android devices, Bing for the iPad is not just a search engine but a full browser that seeks to keep users within its content universe. Bing continues to differentiate vs. Google by offering a range of expanded features (news, traffic, weather, stock quotes, movies, trending images, and popular searches on the home screen) and a rich visual UI.
When Bing first launched its iPad app I was very impressed with the overall experience and functionality. I haven’t yet had an opportunity to test out the new app extensively to determine how or whether this improves upon the older version.
It’s not clear how successful these third party mobile platforms have been for Microsoft. However Bing clearly has an iOS following and it’s the right strategy for the company.