In an effort to increase pressure on Google, Windows giant Microsoft today pushed a completely overhauled Bing for iPhone into the App Store. The software features a new branding identity reflected on the app’s Home screen icon and a matching new-look interface with tight iOS integration via deep linking.
In addition, the app now works offline so you can go back to your bookmarks and search history even when you don’t have an Internet connection.
“We designed the app to bring together the information you need, connected to the apps you trust, to help you ‘find’ and ‘do’ faster and easier than ever before,” wrote the team.
The one-touch optimized interface folds so-called search silos under a dedicated menu accessible by swiping upward from the bottom. This lets you easily narrow down your search to only reviews, menus, directions and more.
“We’ll help you find movies in nearby cinemas, and of course, you can book tickets right from the app,” Microsoft writes. Best of all, Bing for iPhone now supports iOS 9’s deep links so tapping on search results from, say, Yelp, Netflix, Twitter or YouTube will take you straight to their official iPhone app, if installed.
There’s also a built-in media player so you can watch music videos, movies and other video content without ever leaving the app. Search results for movies include their Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings, as well as relevant iOS apps like Netflix or iTunes where you can buy or rent titles.
As for music, Bing for iPhone lets you find songs and then enjoy them through your favorite app, or watch the music video right inside the app together with the lyrics. Oh, and Bing now does QR bar code scanning, too.
Bing 6.0 changelog
Here are all the changes in this edition of Bing for iPhone:
- Redesigned homepage. One tap to see restaurants, movies, images, videos, and maps, plus deals and attractions near you
- More than just web search. When searching, get the answer right away, instead of having to click on web links to find it. The important info from familiar sources, and links to apps to help you get stuff done faster will be at the top.
- Your stuff’s still here. Your bookmarks, search history, Bing Rewards credits are all here. Tap the menu to find them.
- Works offline. You can now go back to your bookmarks and search history even when you don’t have internet.
“Mobile search is different from search on a PC. With mobile, we want instant answers and the ability to take immediate action,” the team wrote.
“We want to book it, buy it, watch it now. We want to touch more and type less. We want to search once in a single app.”
Back in September, Bing for iPhone gained Interests and News features, private searching, an Apple Watch app and other perks.
Bing requires an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 8.0 or later. Bing’s iPad app, a separate download from the App Store Store, has not been updated at the time of this writing with these changes.
The iPhone-only app is limited to the United States so international readers might want to change their device’s region and language settings to United States (English) before taking it for a spin.
Microsoft is working to bring Bing to Android in the future.