MS makes inroads with Bing, releases new smartphone app version

Bing's market share has risen, and the latest update to its mobile app brings it closer to being an all-in-one resource.

By Brennon Slattery, PC World |  Software, Bing, bing vs google

Bing is witnessing a surge in market share and cutting-edge mobile app functionality that is making Microsoft's answer to Google not only a contender in the search engine wars, but also an app-killing mobile mammoth.

Bing's current market share is at its highest since the search engine was released in June 2009. According to comScore's November 2010 report, Bing holds 11.8% of the market, up from 11.6% in October. While those numbers aren't even grazing the shadow of Google's 66.2% market share, Bing, for many, is becoming an alternative to Google.

Add to its rise in market share the updates Bing brought to version 2.0 of its mobile app for Android and iOS devices. With every update, the Bing app is getting closer to becoming an all-in-one resource, and its new features, to me, dwarf and embarrass Google's comparatively lame smartphone app.

Here's what's new with Bing 2.0 for iPhone [download from iTunes] and Android, and why I think it has the potential to be an all-in-one replacement for many other apps:

Restaurants

Search for a restaurant and Bing will sort results by price range, cuisine, atmosphere, or location. Bing 2.0 also integrates OpenTable and GrubHub into the results, so if you need a last-minute reservation or want to order take-out online, you can do it right from Bing. This union essentially renders the OpenTable and GrubHub apps redundant.

Movies

Using your smartphone's GPS, Bing finds nearby movies by name or theater. Fandango is the first search result when you scroll to the bottom of Bing's list, and though these two apps haven't yet joined forces, I see that as a no-duh future addition.

Social Network Integration

Users can now check in to Facebook, Foursquare, and Windows Live Messenger without leaving the Bing app. You can also Facebook "like" your search results. The ability to check-in through Bing will not replace the other apps, which provide more than check-in functionality, but if checking in is all you want to do, Bing is a simple alternative.

Plans


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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