I read the press release that Bing was now available for the iPad and figured it was merely the search engine on a bigger screen, but I was wrong. It looks like they’ve actually put together a decent offering here with search, weather, movies, voice search, maps, pop culture, etc. Really makes you wish they had a platform to deploy this on. Wow, really  really makes me think I need a PC Bing app like this actually. Oh right, back on topic: Check out the details they provide:

The app is designed from the ground up for touch. You can quickly browse news, movies, Bing homepage images, local business listings and much more – all with the swipe of your finger.

Trends– available exclusively on Bing for iPad – lets you explore the latest trends on Bing. Use the touch screen interface to see what people are searching for right now. Tap on any trend to learn more about what it is and why it’s popular

Grab your popcorn and your iPad to get all the latest information about movies, watch trailers, find a theater close to you, or see show times and buy tickets without leaving the comfort of your couch.

Bing for iPad app provides multiple map views (including road, aerial and birds eye) to help you find businesses and destinations and save to your address book or calendar, get turn-by-turn directions, search real-time transit info, and much more.

Stay informed with weather alerts and 10-day or hourly forecasts for your current location, powered by MSN Weather. Save up to five cities using the Save Location feature for quick access to the weather report for your favorite spots.

Not only have we focused on making the app beautiful and functional, we’ve also focused on making search easy. With Bing’s Voice Search, just say what you’re searching for and Bing will find it. Bing’s autosuggest feature helps you refine your search by providing suggestions based on your recent searches and related searches done by other people. And when searching for a popular topic, Bing provides the most relevant answer up top, complete with quick links to help you complete your task faster.

Here’s a video of it in action (that requires Silverlight to watch it so that’s a no go for the iPad…or Windows Phone for that matter):

<br /><a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&amp;vid=bf79720b-2fce-4f05-b880-21793cd62bd9&amp;src=SLPl:embed:&amp;fg=sharenoembed" target="_new" title="Touch and Decide: Introducing Bing for iPad">Video: Touch and Decide: Introducing Bing for iPad</a>

Here’s the download link.

9 COMMENTS

  1. And THIS is why MS pisses me off. Between this and the Bing maps apps for the other OS’s being as nice as they are while being as weak as they are for WP is pretty damn ridiculous.

  2. […] 2011-Apr-07 And THIS is why MS pisses me off. Between this […]

  3. This isn’t what pisses me off about MS. This is what makes me laugh about MS. They finally decided to leverage what they know about operating systems to make decent software…on other platforms. It’s the best form of advertising to them. Put these products on iDevices where more people will be able to see that MS actually have innovated and intuitive products to offer.

    They clearly have already brain-washed the early adapters, me included, that Bing (and WP7) is in fact faster, more efficient and easier to use than other search engines (and Mobile OS’s). Now it’s time to grow the brand on a more mature platform. It’s skull-****ing people’s perception of MS in order to grow their mindshare. Kinda what Sega is doing. In as much as it can be frustrating, I get it. Devoted, repeat buyers of a product doesn’t grow the business, gaining new customers (while retaining the old ones) does.

  4. There is nothing shocking about the fact that this is a nice app. MS is making excellent software right now and their interfaces are often more forward thinking than the competition. The shocking thing is that they, psychotically, still have no answer to the iPad so the Bing team is forced to use that platform (in fact it would be foolish for them to ignore it) to show off what their platform is capable of doing. That’s also what should piss you off about MS.

  5. OK but can someone tell me why there’s no PC app like that? Bing.com is not as good as that app…

  6. @ DavidK

    That is a fair question. One way to look at it is that the reality is just that iPad is the tablet platform and that’s what this app is geared to making it, for sure, a tacit admission that apple’s tablet strategy in is so much better shape than MS’s because, logically you would also, at the very least(!), release this for the win 7 tablets MS claims everyone really wants. I’m sure it would work fine as just a pc app but that’s not a area anyone seems to care about anymore so it might end up just a curiosity and the Bing team knows where the tablet bread is being buttered. This will probably get a lot more press than a pc version would. Heck maybe the Bing team is just trying to embarrass the rest of MS for not giving them the right place to put this kind of thing! In the end they are a software company and need to be everywhere and it doesn’t hurt actually that it outclasses google’s ipad stuff on a couple fronts.

    To me the pc and iPad are not the same thing so showcasing it here makes some sense but I think there is something larger going on. To start with, what does not make sense is when MS does, in fact, have a viable platform for something and the version for their own platform falls behind the competition’s version. I don’t believe for instance that the Bing team should not make their iPhone app awesome, I believe that the the wp7 team needs to give the Bing folks anything they need to make that version even awesomer. (I don’t know if it has made its way to the app yet but Blaise demo’d iPhone Bing with a built in, photosynth-like panorama maker that should have, quite obviously, been built into wp7 from the beginning.) But the “even awesomer” doesn’t happen and I have a theory as to why: the company cannot get out of its own way.

    A couple years ago I saw a demo of a photo sorting app that some guy at MS has worked up using seadragon and it was spectacular. As he clicked through tags and dates the photos rearranged themselves in logical, graceful swoops and deep zooms against a light-table clean background. It was, again a minimalist interface that managed to be remarkably visual. Then the shipping photo gallery came out and it is so comparatively pedestrian, with that terrible, awful, terrible pale blue bar (it makes NO SENSE to have anything but a neutral black or gray background in a photo editing program) and staid interface and I was crushed. The thing has features for sure but visually it is a sorry step-child compared to what is going on in the bunkers in redmond. There is no ‘gee whiz’ factor to it and, for better or worse, apple in particular is good at showing off gee whiz moments that capture the public’s imagination. MS has those moments but buries them.

    So why the hell doesn’t MS gee whiz stuff make it to ground level? Is it inter-department wars, which, by many accounts have hampered dozens of great projects over the years (see netdocs, essentially google docs but in 2000!) or just the gaping maw of inefficiency from being a company that is too damn big for its own good? Clearly, a couple MS engineers in a room (such as the folks that built this app) can build something awesome, the problem seems to be the, let’s call it the 5th element, that is required to get the things they build to the large ecosystem. My theory is that the just-named 5th element has, at MS, decayed into an inhibitor rather than the catalyst it should be.

    To use Bing-iPad as an example – my guess is that there is not a pc version of this because creating own would require that “5th element” in a way that publishing something to the app store does not. The guys making this would have to get a Windows dude involved and that would mean another layer of meetings and that would mean more time and then some whiny IE middle manager would bitch about it showing up bing-ie9….and..screw it! The way things seem to be at MS (what is another explantion?) it, sadly, makes sense that it is probably easier to get a couple guys in a cocoon to build this and get it out to the world than to engage with all the other fiefdoms. The fact that the best way to get it out in the world is only on your competitor’s stage only heightens the problem. To put it cleanly in my nerd-chemist analogy, the iPad is the catalyst to the Bing’s team creativity and the rest of MS an inhibitor.

    Another formula: Desperation (catalyst) + the real creativity MS is capable of = WP7.

    Wp7 is a fantastic example of the deeper thinking that it going on in those aforementioned bunkers and it was allowed to escape was because it was (metaphor switch alert!) a hail mary situation and someone there finally understood that they had no other option but to go long out. I think the future of MS depends on the success wp7, not just because they need a mobile platform, but because the bozos running the place (ie Ballmer IMHO) need to see that going long has it rewards because to survive they need to do so across the board. We are seeing it here and there and Bing-iPad is a perfect example, give a few brainiacs an open field and they will make the most of it.

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