Microsoft offers one of the strongest app lineups on iOS, and it’s getting even better with the introduction of a completely redesigned Bing experience. The update, which is available today, gives users an app Microsoft hopes everyone will use to search for images, movies, restaurants and more, while forgetting about Google in the process.
The first thing you’ll notice about Bing version 6.0 is that it’s been redesigned in a big way; the homepage now features buttons to perform quick searches, and it looks super clean. Tap the Images button and find pictures of Yosemite. Tap “Near Me” and you’ll see stores, events, restaurants, and more happening in your area. Basically all the searches you might ordinarily do in Google can be done in Bing for iPhone—and it’s a pretty wonderful experience.
What’s particularly handy about Microsoft’s app is that you get the answer—not a bunch of links—right away. “The important info from familiar sources, and links to apps to help you get stuff done faster will be at the top,” Microsoft said. It sure beats Google’s app for iOS, which doesn’t offer deep links.
Having quickly taken the app for a spin, it’s pretty much like using Bing on Tap (or Now on Tap) contained in a single app; it looks beautiful, and provides the exact information you’re looking for. For example, when you search for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, relevant news about the film will trend at the top, which can easily be swiped through.
Below the news card you’ll find release information, plot synopsis, links to Wikipedia and IMDB, and direct links to watch the trailers; you’ll also get casting info, images, a “people also search for” tab and more. You get everything in one place without having to seek out what you need through a ton of different links.
Bing typically gets a bad rap simply because it’s not Google. But Microsoft’s search engine has grown into a formidable alternative, and Bing for iPhone is worth a look. I can already tell it’s going to be a big part of my day-to-day.