Microsoft Launches Redesigned 'Bing' App With Focus on Quick Interactions and App Discovery

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Microsoft today launched an entirely revamped Bing search engine app for iOS, which it is hoping will reimagine search on the iPhone. The Bing app has a new design with a much cleaner interface and a series of quick action buttons that aim to cut down on the amount of typing a user needs to do to get relevant search results.

According to Microsoft, existing mobile search engines are a copycat of PC-based search engines - long lists of links - but the needs on mobile are much different. On a phone, people are looking for faster ways to get what they want while minimizing the number of interactions, an experience Microsoft is planning to deliver with Bing.

The main focal point of the app is a search button that launches a standard search for any topic, using either words, voice, or an image. This search interface includes popular search topics, like "restaurants near me," and it also includes links to search images, videos, or news, in addition to the web.


On the main Bing screen below the search button, there's a series of quick tap buttons that will bring up things people often search for. "Near Me," for example, displays a list of venues that are nearby, and additional buttons like "Dinner" or "Coffee" let users drill down further in the search results without ever having to type a word.

There are also quick links to bring up local restaurants, current movies, images, videos, and maps, while scrolling down will open up a list of breaking news stories. Microsoft has put a lot of thought into the Bing search engine, and its results cover everything a person might be looking for.


As an example, if you tap the Movie quick link on the home screen, it shows movies in theaters, but it also shows new movies that have been added to Netflix and Amazon Prime, along with popular movies on both services. Tapping on one of these movies brings up information like actors and movie reviews, along with a long list of relevant apps. From the search results, a movie like Nightcrawler can be opened in Netflix, purchased on iTunes, rented on Amazon, or opened in VUDU.


Microsoft has made deep linking a major focal point in its new Bing app, and app-based search results that open the relevant app are available for many different types of searches. For example, searching for a popular restaurant nearby and then tapping that result will include all relevant associated apps.

A search for a local Chipotle brings up a map, a phone number, and a list of associated apps. Yelp, Foursquare, and Zomato are offered up as apps where reviews are available, while AllMenu is listed as a way to view the menu and Apple Maps, Uber, Google Maps, and Lyft are provided as options for getting there. For a restaurant with food delivery, Bing might offer up the relevant app, or for a restaurant that takes reservations, Bing will provide something like OpenTable as an option.

A search for a television show might bring up an option to open it up directly in Netflix, while searching for a particular song includes app links to watch it in the YouTube app or buy it in iTunes. In addition to helping people find things faster, Microsoft is hoping its deep linking will aid users in app discovery, helping them find new ways to do things via apps.

The new Bing app also takes advantage of Microsoft's Knowledge and Action Graph, which incorporates 21 billion facts, five billion relationships between entities, and 18 billion actions to give users answers to common questions quickly. That's been coupled with extensive work on indexing apps to build the backbone for the new Bing mobile experience.

Bing can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Microsoft Launches Redesigned 'Bing' App With Focus on Quick Interactions and App Discovery
 

2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
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I am amazed at how Google and Microsoft are putting their apps on iOS and OSX. Even more amazed that Apple is starting to take its apps to other platforms. This open interoperability cross platform thing must just be a passing fancy, though. :p
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2008
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I only use Bing to get my reward credits (nice, double reward credits until the end of the year). I'd be happy to "bing it" rather than "google it" if Bing gave me as good of search results. I test at least a couple times a year and Google always produces better results for me (tests done in private/incognito windows without being signed in to either service).
 

JohnApples

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Mar 7, 2014
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Woah. This looks like a weird hybrid of the Google Search app, and the Proactive screen. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't know if it's enough to get me to use bing.
 

TXCherokee

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Aug 24, 2012
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I only use Bing to get my reward credits (nice, double reward credits until the end of the year). I'd be happy to "bing it" rather than "google it" if Bing gave me as good of search results. I test at least a couple times a year and Google always produces better results for me (tests done in private/incognito windows without being signed in to either service).
You can skip that part if you use DuckDuckGo. I've found DDG to be as good as Google a vast majority of the time.

Two places where Google still performs better: Image search (slightly) and "I'm not sure what I'm looking for" search (much better).
 

Parasprite

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2013
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I would use Bing if it gave me better results just for the + operator.

I miss Google having a + operator. :(
 

btrach144

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Aug 28, 2015
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Bing rewards is awesome as well. I get at least $5-$10 in Amazon gift card each month just by using Bing. They literally pay you to use Bing :D
 

MikeAnd

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2008
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This app is (shockingly enough) actually a well-designed and useful mobile app. Way better than the Google "app", which is basically just a web wrapper around the Google mobile website. I might actually start using it on a regular basis.

My only complaint is that the navigation is a little difficult because they don't support swipe to go back. The back button can be difficult to reach one-handed, and isn't always displayed.
 

MikeAnd

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2008
89
93
This app is (shockingly enough) actually a well-designed and useful mobile app. Way better than the Google "app", which is basically just a web wrapper around the Google mobile website. I might actually start using it on a regular basis.

My only complaint is that the navigation is a little difficult because they don't support swipe to go back. The back button can be difficult to reach one-handed, and isn't always displayed. Also seems like it's a bit buggy right now, but I assume that will improve with point releases.
 

btrach144

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...Are you being paid to say that....? lol :eek:
Just my opinion :)

Not outside the US.
Guess you need to move to the USA :)

Give up, Microsoft, seriously. Bing is the Zune of search engines.
Last I heard in July, Bing has 20.4% of market share. Why would you give up 20.4% market share? I suggest you actually try Bing. It's legit, plus you don't have to sign your soul over to Google.
 
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Futurix

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Nov 22, 2011
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Did they make it US-only? I don't see it in UK App Store anymore, and the page for an old app (when opened from Purchased) is blank...

This is a bit ridiculous! Their iPad app was US-only, but iPhone one wasn't - and it has a very useful web page translation extension for Safari (the only reason I used it really).
 

sudo1996

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Aug 21, 2015
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Last I heard in July, Bing has 20.4% of market share. Why would you give up 20.4% market share? I suggest you actually try Bing. It's legit, plus you don't have to sign your soul over to Google.
I've used it, and it's ****. By that, I mean that my results were really irrelevant, there were annoying things on the side, and even the front page was a mess because of all those images taking all my bandwidth to load. No reason to leave Google. You "sign your soul" over to Microsoft equally, i.e. not at all, to use search.

Give up, Microsoft, seriously. Bing is the Zune of search engines.
They nearly carbon-copied Google's search results page then used their market influence to make people use Bing by accident or unknowingly. And it's working. No reason for them to give up.
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
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I'll give the app a try and reserve my judgment for a bit, except for the Maps section of the app being my significant knock on the app - it's using Apple Maps as a data source. In the four locations I work and near where I live, both Apple and Google Maps have so many goofs it's not funny any more and Here/Mapquest list businesses that closed down 5-10 years ago. I was really hoping to see MS's new mapping data go live - new(est) aerial photographs, pretty accurate POIs (73 out of 75 that I checked were correct and in the right place), and navigation is pretty good - https://www.bing.com/mapspreview - no more Silverlight needed. Once they get their mapping data and POIs hooked up, maybe their Bing app will stand out.