Microsoft is getting into iPhone applications. The company just launched a Bing app, approved by Apple and ready for download for the iPhone and iPod touch on Apple’s App Store. The application is free and, analysts said, may be yet another sign that Apple is moving to rely less on Google.
“Let’s talk about some cool stuff you can do with the Bing app,” said Justin Jed of the Bing for mobile team. “Our investments in voice search — you may have played with them on Windows phones or BlackBerry already — continues in our iPhone app and works great for map locations as well as old-fashioned web search.”
If a user wants to know what the weather is in San Francisco, he or she would speak “San Francisco weather” into the phone or press the mic button. Bing will serve up results on the iPhone’s display. Users can also use the voice-search function to say a full address and get results that include a map or directions.
“Bing automatically finds your location. It’s also easy to discover a new spot by category such as restaurants, banks, theaters, and choose whether you want walking or driving directions,” Jed said. “We’ve got smooth mapping action. Swipe through each step of the directions, and check out how fast the map pans and zooms … For times when you only have one hand free and can’t pinch, there is a handy zoom-out button.”