Aug 30 AT 9:27 PM Sean Riley 11 Comments

Bing for mobile app offers Verizon customers a new search option

While Bing has been known to power the search on some Android phones in the past, this is the first time an honest to goodness app has been available for Microsoft’s little search that could. Like Skype before it the Bing app is only available for Verizon customers and there is no word on Microsoft on where or if that will change.

At first glance the app has taken quite a few cues from the standard Bing website. When you launch the app you are looking at a scaled down version of the “image of the day” with a search box and search categories. The image of the day has a number of little boxes that you can click on which will display little bits of trivia about the image, not exactly mission critical for search, but an entertaining feature nonetheless.

The search box itself functions exactly as the Google search box that you are familiar with and the mic next to it predictably offers voice search. The voice search will provide contextual results so to use Microsoft’s example if you say “movies” it will display movie listings for your local theaters. Similar contextual results can be had for flight information, traffic, weather, news, and hotels. My limited testing of the app so far has produced accurate and quick results with the voice search.

The local category brings up a search for a variety of categories including restaurants, shopping & services, nightlight, hotels & accommodations, transportation, arts & entertainment, government & community, and health & fitness.

The image search offers endless scrolling which is definitely a nice feature although on my 3G connection the refresh rate was a little slower than I would have liked. Other than

The mapping functionality again mirrors what is available on the standard Bing site and will track your location just as Google Maps does. You can search your current map for different categories of locations and then choose either walking or driving directions which you can swipe through step by step. The map can also display current traffic conditions in your area, although I wasn’t able to test the accuracy of that function.

The news category allows for a general search of all news sources, but by default pulls up a list of current stories from across a variety of topics including U.S., world, local, business, entertainment, politics, sports, science and technology, health, and more.

Finally there is a Bing widget with a text box and voice search allowing for web, application, and contact search.

The Bing app has nice visuals and handles a variety of services without ever departing the app, but in all I don’t see any reason for non-Verizon customers to be too bent out of shape for not getting access to this one as for the most part it is simply a repackaging of functionality you already have on your device. If you are on Verizon and want to take it for a spin yourself just hit up the QR code.

Bing for mobile homescreen Bing for mobile homescreen with image trivia Bing for mobile local search Bing for mobile image search Bing for mobile map search Bing for mobile map with directions Bing for mobile maps with traffic monitor Bing for mobile news search screen Search widget for Bing mobile app

Source: Bing

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://Website coggy9

    Since it is a free app, and works in non Verizon devices, would it be ok to post the apk? Even though having the app on a GOOGLE device is complete irony…

  • Nicko01

    Who even uses bing anyway?
    Just Google it.

  • http://Website Nicholas Overstreet

    It’s like paying an entrance fee too an outlet mall, only to go down the street and buy the knock off clothing.

  • http://Website Brian Douglas Hayes

    “I don’t see any reason for non-Verizon customers to be too bent out of shape for not getting access”

    Um, I do. While the Bing app itself isn’t a big deal, these Verizon-exlusive arrangements are. Combined with Skype, another big-name Verizon exclusive, I think we’re beginning to see a trend network-exclusive apps. It’s kind of a slap in the face to Android, which is supposed to be all about being “open.”

    It’s one thing to have a network-exlusive app for billing or support, but Skype? Bing? Come on. This is a really lousy deal for consumers.

    • Sean Riley

      Fair point, I meant they aren’t missing out on anything too exciting, but I agree that these exclusivity deals some app makers are striking with carriers are a raw deal for the customers.

      At least with Android we can rest assured that someone will almost immediately hack the app to work on anyone’s device.

  • Liam

    TELUS uses state-of-the-art technology and carrier class engineering standards to build its networks. And TELUS is continuously taking advantage of the latest advancements in network technology to increase network speeds, capacities, reach, reliability and cost effectiveness.

    Telus Cell Phones

  • http://Website milt

    bing blows. and i wonder how many man-weeks microsoft spent trying to find a catchy name to go head to head with “google”

  • http://Website Chris

    Doesn’t Vodafone own around half of verizon? Can’t they find some loophole that’ll at least bring skype to Europe?

    • http://Website k0zmic

      Yeah they own about 40%. I reckon it’ll be Verizon only for a month or so, then everyone should get it.

  • http://Website matt L

    I don’t care what they do…….I’ll never to to VZ