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Thursday, December 16, 2010
Microsoft's Bing Adds New Mobile App, Social-media, Maps and Travel Features

Microsoft today updated the Bing for Mobile iPhone and Android Apps, adding new mobile, local, travel and social-media features for Bing in an effort to make the search engine more competitive with Google.

The new Bing for mobile iPhone app update features an updated homepage with an enriched layout and design for easier navigation and feature discoverability. The 'Autosuggest' features got a boost, allowing users to refine searches on the fly. With a tap of the finger, users can easily find the perfect restaurant with the cuisine, price, location and atmosphere they want.

Users can also reserve a table at OpenTable or order takeout from and GrubHubor without leaving the Bing app.

Streetside, a new mobile mapping feature, provides a multi-street level panorama of a location so users can take a virtual walk through the streets with a view of a locations and landmarks.

When users get to their destination, they are able to check-in with Bing and simultaneously update their Facebook, Foursquare and Windows Live Messenger status.

The new "Plan" feature lets users share local search results directly to their Facebook Wall, and plan a night based on the "likes" and comments of their friends.

The "Reminder" feature lets users know when they're close to a location. Users can set a reminder from the detail business listing page, type a custom message and Bing will remind them the next time they?re near the location.

Microsoft has also added a real-time transit updates for Boston, San Francisco and Seattle, so users never miss the bus again (more cities to come). Real-time transit shows if a bus is on schedule, early or delayed, with predictions for arrival times. Standard transit routes for 11 cities are also live including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, and Vancouver BC with more to come.

Voice search, powered by Microsoft TellMe, is faster than before and allows users to fine-tune their existing search using their voice, without having to repeat the entire search.

"Bing Vision" lets users search using their phone's camera. Bring an object into view and Bing will detect text and present a tool to select words for a search. If the object has a barcode, Bing will instantly return product results. Bing Vision can detect product information from UPC codes and cover art for books, CD, DVDs and video games.

Bing for Mobile Android App Update

The Bing for Mobile Android App is available for download on all major U.S. mobile operators through the Android Market ? and today Microsoft launched an updated version of the app. Below is an overview of some of the new updates:

- Bing will automatically detect "what's nearby" and present dynamic and full category search pages.

- Bookmark Images: Users can bookmark any image result from the Web to the device.

- Expanded Search: The Search Widget allows users to search third party apps (e.g. Yelp), in addition to contacts, apps, audio files and the Web. (Only apps with registered data can be surfaced in search results.)

- Search, Share, Decide and Book: To make planning a night out easier, share search results with friends using any loaded app that can accept and share content by using the "share" command. And, with the integration of OpenTable and GrubHub into the Bing for Mobile search results, users can make reservations or order take out ? without switching between apps.

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