Bing Search is one of the things we like about the Windows Phone platform. Sure it’s search results aren’t as far reaching as Google but the local search, particularly the Local Scout feature are one of the things that it does really well.
The latest updates to Bing for iOS bring some of that fetching Metro UI look and feel to the search engine, or “decision engine,” as Microsoft are calling it.
As well as allowing you to perform web searches, there’s a local search feature that allows you to search for bars, restaurants and transport links in your immediate vicinity, or around a postcode; tap the near me drop down on the main screen to perform search around where you are right now or around any location.
Access to Bing Maps comes included and there’s also voice search, an OCR text scanner and a barcode scanner. Basically, a lot of useful things all tucked into one app – Swiss Army search if you will.
We have to say the voice search doesn’t work quite as well as we’d like and the OCR isn’t quite as nippy as it is on Google Docs for Android. The QR code scanner however works fine.
So it’s not quite as polished on our iPhone 4 as it is on Windows Phone devices. We’ve also heard that there’s an Android version available which looks to be US-only for the time being. When we’ve signed in to the Market, we’ve been getting error messages saying that the app “cannot be installed in your device’s country.”
This Bing Community blog post also mentions the Bing app arriving on BlackBerry devices at some point in the future.
The free app is worth a look for the novelty value too of seeing something with the Windows Phone Metro look working on an iOS device. What’s next, Safari on the Nokia Lumia 800?