For those of you who use the Bing app on a regular basis, you’ll know that they recently updated its iOS app back in December. The update included a bar code scanner, in-store price comparisons, third-part app integration and other features. On February 4th, Bing refreshed its iOS app again, launching an entirely new version of Bing for Android.
As an iOS user, here’s what’s new for the iOS version, according to the update information:
- Deals module that does two things: barcode scanning for comparison shopping, and ability to browse offers, coupons, and discounts from nearby stores and restaurants.
- For iPhone 6/6S+ users, we added 3D touch support for Quick Actions, letting you go straight to barcode scanner or voice search from your home screen.
- Gas prices: Now you’ll see gase price data for gas stations nearby so you can save on gas!
- Pins: pin your frequent and favorite bookmarks to the Today feed, so you can navigate to your favorite sites faster.
- Weather in “Today” feed
- Top dishes for select restaurants
Based on your feedback, other changes include:
- Improved bookmarks management
- Cleaned-up sharing options
- News search section
- Improved voice search
- Butter smooth performance and responsiveness, reduced crashes, reduced memory footprint
The Android update is bigger, basically bringing feature parity with Bing for iOS. Users can now get much more information with much less typing. Microsoft’s intention with the update is to allow users to “find” and “do” faster.
Ultimately, the idea is to try minimizing keystrokes and typing with common queries, such as “near me” search. These types of searches have been converted to buttons and tabs for faster search and convenience. One the homepage, you’ll see the buttons include near me, restaurants, movies, news, image and video. These buttons launch rich, image-centric search results.
With the iOS app, Bing integrated third-party link and apps into results and profile pages.
When you’re using the iOS version of the app, you can do a “long press” on the search button on the homepage, which will bring up a camera icon, allowing you to launch a UPC bar code scanner that will return product and price results if the content is in Bing’s database.
For the “movies” button on the homepage, if you tap it, you’ll get a grid of movie poster images, which allows you to tap to search in nearby theaters. You can also search by genre and “what’s hot” on Netflix and Amazon online.
It seems that the only difference when it comes to both Android and iOS versions is the lack of a “deals” button on Android, where it exists on iOS. It enables search by bar codes or category buttons.