Bing launches new HTML 5 apps for iOS and Android

 

Microsoft's Bing search apps for smartphones moved into a new era this week with the launch of new versions for Apple's iOS smartphones as well as certain Android-powered smartphones. The official Bing blog site reveals some of the details of the new Bing app which will also be coming to Blackberry and, of course, Windows Phone devices sometime in the future.

The new HTML5 features are described in the video which you can see above this post. So why move to HTML5 in the first place. Microsoft says, "Using HTML5, our goal is to build a mobile experience that leverages the unique capabilities of the different platforms including camera support and voice search, while making the functions the apps can provide consistent across the platforms and – in the future – callable by engines to help people get from searching to doing."

Some of those features include adding real time transit info and news for the Android version of the Bing app that was previously only available to check out via the http://m.bing.com web site. The new video domain on the m.bing.com web site can also now be accessed via the iOS version of the Bing app. You can also link business information with a map in just one view in the new app version along with being able to seek out local shopping deals from over 100 deal companies here in the US.

While perhaps not quite as advanced as the voice-controlled Siri features in the iPhone 4S, the new Bing mobile app does add new features to mobile search features that will give smartphone users some added functionality.

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Order_66 said,
People still use bing? wow...

"Still"? It came out after Google, buddy. There's no "still" about a product that is pretty much still in infancy (US restricted).

Order_66 said,
People still use bing? wow...

Only the odd MS fanboy, but even they go back to Google when they want accurate results fast

I'll first say I could be wrong about some of the below, but I'm pretty sure I'm correct:
Windows Phone 7's Internet Explorer Mobile doesn't support ontouch events (which is totally stupid and further evidence of Microsoft's moronic approach to advancing their own platform), and that may have prevented Bing from supporting Windows Phone 7. In the video, they scroll the screen while the top and bottom elements stay fixed. This is impossible on a device which uses a viewport (most mobile devices) without doing one of two things:
1. Supressing scrolling by canceling ontouch events and instead writing your own scrolling functions (impossible on Windows Phone 7 due to lack of ontouch function support)
2. Deactivating the viewport (impossible on everything but Windows Phone 7)
So if they wanted to use one of the two techniques, it seems they went with #1. But they should eventually be able to detect the user agent and serve the correct code.

Obviously some of you don't use the BING search engine currently running WP7.5?

Ryanlm - the search is better than google for many relevant things. It has been tested and proven. Read about it. Google overall hits more everyday things for the average user. But Bing can find more relevant information better than Google at times. It still needs work but it gets better each update.

mrmomoman said,
Obviously some of you don't use the BING search engine currently running WP7.5?

Ryanlm - the search is better than google for many relevant things. It has been tested and proven. Read about it. Google overall hits more everyday things for the average user. But Bing can find more relevant information better than Google at times. It still needs work but it gets better each update.

Don't believe everything you read. Google that. Bing has far less information indexed, and I mean far less. It is also ungodly slow at indexing content. When it does discover new content, it doenst fully index it for some reason. As a developer, I spend a good deal of time looking and performing complex searches to problems, google always proves to be better. On my Windows Phone, I litteraly go to google because I will actually get decent results back, usually after bing returns average results.

Really though, it is just too darn slow at indexing content. I have made a change to a public site and the next day its live on google. With bing I could be waiting months. God forbid you are searching for something current on bing.

Example - Search this in Bing and Google:

"Is siri experiencing an outage"

Very topical. Googles entire first page are results from the last hour. Bing has one news result that is topical - but the first actual organic result is talking about blackberry and is a month old. The rest of the articles on that page are either off topic & old.

FAIL

Ryanlm said,
Example - Search this in Bing and Google:

"Is siri experiencing an outage"

Very topical. Googles entire first page are results from the last hour. Bing has one news result that is topical - but the first actual organic result is talking about blackberry and is a month old. The rest of the articles on that page are either off topic & old.

FAIL

Or better yet search: siri outage

Bing gives more relevant news stories and results. Do you like having to type more information to get the same level of answers?

This is the 'key' to Bing, is that search is more relevant based on pattens that Google doesn't use. If you want 'specific' information in Bing you can type more, to get more specific or technical results or you can type a couple of simple of words and get a good guess with a scope that has more relevant results.

Try this with terms that can easily be conflated, and see if Bing predicts your type of interest and 'level' of understanding for the results.

Example: hubble

Note that Bing shifts to a better set of results, for the average person, and also includes a few News stories relevant to the term.

Now start adding in specifics and notice how Bing and Google differ in what they give in results based on the expected level and relevance.

Adding in things like: Red, Einstein, Light, etc

Notice how the results are similar in some results, but it is the ones that are different that are important and this is where adding red for example Google starts bringing up goofy results about the red spot on Jupiter as the most relevant.

(Seriously, when you think Hubble Red - do you think about Jupiter first?)

This relevance becomes more important when you are a technical person, and start adding in technical terms that demonstrate you have a higher level of understanding of the subject and the identified 'key' term of the subject.

Google just starts throwing random crap out, and Bing will draw from more technical articles.

Try this search:

pascal object children

Notice how Google brings up completely NON-relevant results, yet Bing nails it, as it should realize that the person has a certain level of technical understanding?

So the more complexity you add to your search, the more complex type of answers/results Bing gives you. On Google, not so much, in fact adding 'complex' terms often brings back rather silly and dumb results that have no relevance, as it tends to be a catch all approach.


I'm sure you mean well, but you should spend a bit more time exploring Bing, as it isn't just throwing a mix of crap at you like Google does.

You are judging Bing based on what you 'expect' from Google, and are using search queries that you have learned to conform to make Google work well, it doesn't work well. It will shift your results and make Bing fail in your eyes.

Instead of using Google type terms to search, try to forget Google, and instead use terms and questions as you understand them in your real world and in your own terminology, and you might be surprised that Bing gets you better than Google, and the results hit more closely to your level of understanding and the things you want to see.

Or better yet search: siri outage

Bing gives more relevant news stories and results. Do you like having to type more information to get the same level of answers?

First off, I wouldnt call them "more relevant", at all. It makes me giggle that Bing is picking MSN for the first link. Apparently they must be the best news source for Apple issues? FAIL.

Secondly, it's not about typing less, it's about understanding a complex query correctly. The query I posted earlier - Bing pulled up a month old article about Blackberry as the first web result. FAIL.

Any search engine should be able to take one or two word terms and pull back a result, but many people search more naturally. A lot of people search in question form, or give lots of detail.

Bing does bring up better results in the cases you mentioned, not by an amazing amount, however -but, who searches like this all the time? I am using questions as I understand them in the real world, much more naturally that just typing in "hubble" or a series of keywords or nouns. Sometimes it is just a word or two, its just that bing sucks if its complex.

Also, I should add - All of bings web results for "siri outage" are from yesterday. All of google's web results are much more recent, like from an hour ago.

Co_Co said,
why US only

That's what I'd like to know as well ... why the heck is the Bing app only available on the US iTunes store? What have we Canadians done to upset Microsoft?

Yay, yet another UI change. Hey - Bing team - work on the "search" portion of the product. Its terrible. Try indexing stuff, like, within a day instead of 2 months... Also, make the search results relevant. There's your killer feature.

Ryanlm said,
Yay, yet another UI change. Hey - Bing team - work on the "search" portion of the product. Its terrible. Try indexing stuff, like, within a day instead of 2 months... Also, make the search results relevant. There's your killer feature.

Weird, Bing index updates for news happen at least every couple of minutes. Do you use a special version that is magically crappier?

MS is a business and as such they run for profits, no problem with this therefore I can understand the desire to push the improvements for platforms with a greater market share as soon as possible.
Said that the fact that MS has left behind all the early adopters of their own new mobile OS is very upsetting..... to say the least.
I heard the "it will come soon" pitch too often; if MS is really interested, as I believe the company is, to increase the relevance of the OS they need to start treat it as a first class citizen!

Fritzly said,
MS is a business and as such they run for profits, no problem with this therefore I can understand the desire to push the improvements for platforms with a greater market share as soon as possible.
Said that the fact that MS has left behind all the early adopters of their own new mobile OS is very upsetting..... to say the least.
I heard the "it will come soon" pitch too often; if MS is really interested, as I believe the company is, to increase the relevance of the OS they need to start treat it as a first class citizen!

I can sorta understand pushing this Bing feature to iOS and Android first but at the same time wouldn't providing such exclusive features to WP7 help to differentiate WP7 from the competition? That's where I'm lost on this!

Fritzly said,
MS is a business and as such they run for profits, no problem with this therefore I can understand the desire to push the improvements for platforms with a greater market share as soon as possible.
Said that the fact that MS has left behind all the early adopters of their own new mobile OS is very upsetting..... to say the least.
I heard the "it will come soon" pitch too often; if MS is really interested, as I believe the company is, to increase the relevance of the OS they need to start treat it as a first class citizen!

It is sad. That is why I left Microsoft when it came to the Windows Mobile Department. I really tried to stand with Microsoft for years. With them supporting other platforms and none of their own, I had just got tired of buying phones after phones with no support. It was reading articles like this, that made me jump ship. I got tired of the support for the competitions platform while you have none for your own.

Fritzly said,
MS is a business and as such they run for profits, no problem with this therefore I can understand the desire to push the improvements for platforms with a greater market share as soon as possible.
Said that the fact that MS has left behind all the early adopters of their own new mobile OS is very upsetting..... to say the least.
I heard the "it will come soon" pitch too often; if MS is really interested, as I believe the company is, to increase the relevance of the OS they need to start treat it as a first class citizen!

Personally I couldn't care if this is released on Windows Phone. Bing is built in on WP7 already.

Fritzly said,
MS is a business and as such they run for profits, no problem with this therefore I can understand the desire to push the improvements for platforms with a greater market share as soon as possible.
Said that the fact that MS has left behind all the early adopters of their own new mobile OS is very upsetting..... to say the least.
I heard the "it will come soon" pitch too often; if MS is really interested, as I believe the company is, to increase the relevance of the OS they need to start treat it as a first class citizen!

Yet WP7 users still have features the others don't have, and WP7 users have had access to the Mango level features for a couple of months before the other platforms.

So for a few features to shift to be on Android and iOS is not a big issue.

BTW If you have been around for a while, Office for Mac often has features than Office for Windows doesn't have, although they are usually in place to compensate for features lacking in OS X, but still they get some special features.