This is a big week for the Bing mobile team. First, not only is our updated iPhone app available in the app store, but we just rolled out a big update for people who want to use Bing from a mobile browser on their high-end smartphones. We all love our apps, but sometimes it’s easier to search from the browser instead of through an app. The good news is that many newer phones have powerful browsers, so Bing (m.bing.com) can look and act like an app without you needing to download or launch one. I’ll describe some of the new features below.
Second, Bing is available as a default option on iPhone 4 and those who upgraded to the iOS 4 software. It’s really easy to reset your search default to Bing. I’ll show you how and you’ll be glad you did.
What’s new at m.bing.com?
(Ok, for those of you who don’t like to read, we asked Raghava Kashyapa to demo some new features for us, check out his video. This could be his shot at a new gig in Hollywood. You decide.)
Try these new features on your Windows phone, iPhone, Android, Palm, Kin, or Zune HD today at m.bing.com:
• The Home page now features the Bing image of the day (people love pictures)
• Location detection through the GPS on your phone (makes it easier to search for stuff near you)
• Local Search with suggested listings nearby and category search (less typing, more finding)
• Find places nearby, save them to a favorites list, and share that list with friends (plan your day all from your mobile phone)
• Smooth panning and scrolling of interactive maps (who doesn’t like a good mobile map these days?)
• More details on local listings, like parking info, price, cuisine, and ratings (that’s just Bing doing what we do, being a decision engine)
One of our favorite enhancements is around local search. When you’re out and about and need to find somewhere to go, you probably want to search near where you are at that moment. The new Local section on m.bing.com does just that. Bing shows you a list of suggestions based their popularity, your current location, and even the time of day so at 9:00 AM you might see a coffee house rather than a bar. You can choose the radius for your search, narrowing to .5 miles for congested areas or when you’re walking instead of driving.
When you find something you like, save it to the new Favorites list. Select a few favorites and show all of them on a single map, or even email the entire list to friends.
How do I set Bing as the search default on my iPhone with iOS 4 installed?
This is easy to do, takes less than a minute and does not require you to be ‘technical.’
1) Tap the “Settings” app (the app with the gears)
2) Scroll down to “Safari” (that’s the iPhone browser)
3) Tap the “Search Engine” button
4) Select Bing
So now that we’ve made it super easy to use Bing on nearly every device and have made some new updates, give it a shot and let us know what you think.
Justin Jed – Bing for mobile
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