Bing for iPad Adds 'Lasso' Search Term Selection

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. MacRumors, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2011

    MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    While Apple took a fair amount of time developing the current copy-and-paste mechanism for iOS, holding off on releasing it until iPhone OS 3.0 in mid-2009, Microsoft's new update for its Bing for iPad app shows off an alternative method for text selection known as "Lasso". The technique allows users to select text to serve as the basis of Bing searches by simply drawing circles around the desired search terms.
    While support for the Lasso search method is of course limited to usage inside the Bing for iPad app, it offers an interesting glimpse at a usability concept that could make its way into other areas.
    In addition to Lasso, the new Version 1.1 update to Bing for iPad also adds enhanced movie listings and a host of other improvements.

    Article Link: Bing for iPad Adds 'Lasso' Search Term Selection
  2. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
  3. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    It does appear to be a convenient idea. But what if you want to select a few words that are spread over more than one line? A circle would not catch just those words I presume.
  4. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    So wait, you have to do everything in the Bing app to actually use this? What's the point of that? This doesn't work from Safari then?

    Why not just tap & hold on a word, with an option called "Search" pop up?
  5. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I expected freeform lasso-drawing, which would be more interesting and even natural. This just looks like a pretty standard drag-select: move your finger in a line. But what appears is NOT a line, it’s an oval. An OK visual effect, but also confusingly indirect compared to what I expected to see.

    Regardless, it requires tapping a button to enter a special mode for this. Whereas current iOS text selection "just works” all the time. And maybe the current method can call for “up to” 9 actions (?) but it can also call for just one: tap-hold the word.

    What Apple could do to improve it is to add a “search” button to the selection popup, in addition to the current “copy.” That would save a step sometimes.
  6. 2 Replies, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011

    2 Replies macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    Reading skills fail...
    So it's a proof of concept. Many other iOS developers have released such proofs, after which Apple released their own native version (of course not crediting anyone else but themselves).
    A few notable proof of concepts iOS saw were video, copy/paste, multi-tasking and (the now infamous) wifi sync.

    Are you serious? :rolleyes: Of course it wouldn't. There's no way I'd work in Safari.
    Apple doesn't allow anyone else to customize native Apple OS or Apps or replace native iOS features with custom implementations.

    Regardless of the fact that users would have to install such customization themselves, so would be aware of the difference between Apple's code and the custom's code, Apple is just too paranoid about being blamed for poor user-experience with third-party software to allow it.

    It WOULD be nice if mobile OS manufacturers would take a cue from Android and allow customization of native OS functions, (such as Android users ability to replace the native default keyboard).
    But I wouldn't hold your breath.
    The best we can hope for from Apple in terms of this, would be to copy/steal it as their own for iOS5 or later.
    Most likely, if the concept works in the Bing app on the iPhone, WP7 users may see it in the future.
  7. NAG macrumors 68030


    Aug 6, 2003
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the big reason why apps can't effect each other like that (especially on such a fundamental level such as the multitouch ui) because of the iOS security model (essentially sandboxing everything). Therefore, you will never see the kind of functionality you are asking for.
  8. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    I could see this feature being much more useful if it were built into the actual iOS, to be used across multiple applications.

    The current copy and paste system in iOS works, but on the smaller screen of the iPhone it can be quite cumbersome in terms of speed of use.

    The process of selecting a word on an oddly formatted website->pressing and holding for the "copy" menu to pop up->pressing copy->pressing the search bar->pressing and holding down for paste->clicking search just takes quite a bit longer than is should.


  9. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Anyone actually gotten "lasso" tool to work? I go to website and click on the lasso tool to draw a circle around the term I want to search. I even hold my finger down like on the video. Nada, doesn't do a thing.
  10. Mitchelino macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Neat feature. Not what I was expecting. The "lasso" had me thinking you drew an oval, whereas you basically tap a button and highlight text as you would with a mouse cursor? Correct me if I'm wrong, as I haven't used this feature or app.

    I'll stick with tapping the search box for the rare occaision I search the web on an iDevice. I usually don't search more than 3 words anyways. Still a good feature for those who'll use it, though.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Excellent; I imagine this will make it's way into the Windows Phone 7 platform and probably Windows 8.
  12. liavman macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2009
    I tried it and it just did not work for me. Out of 10 times I tried, it recognized my circled word once.

    But in this process I got introduced the Bing iPad app which is actually very good.
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    If the guy doing the demo is so concerned with efficiency, why does he say "it takes almost 9 steps to go ahead and do a copy and paste" instead of "copy and paste takes almost 9 steps"?

    And what does "almost 9" mean? Can't he count that high?

    I'm certainly glad that his coworker is so surprised and impressed with a feature he already knows about. "Ooooh!" :rolleyes:
  14. Renverse macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2011
    Can't get it to work myself that much, so meh.

    On the other hand, Bing for iPad is very, very good. Nice job MSFT.
  15. itsalexaye macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2011
    i think its great but I havent gotten a chance to try it out since I have a iPhone and no iPad :(
  16. MacNewsFix macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2007
    Twin Cities
    Props to Microsoft.

    I really like this app. Very creative UI.

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