For a long time it was kind of embarassing how Microsoft’s Bing “Decision Engine” seemed to favor developing applications for platforms not controlled by Microsoft. The Bing app for the iPad is fantastic, and the Bing app for iPhone has often had better or more features than the Bing features integrated with Microsoft’s own Windows Phone. Now that Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets are coming to market later this year and Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing, Bing is showing off their new apps for Windows 8 tablets. These Windows 8 apps are a lot different than the single iPad app in that their subjects are segregated into separate apps with their own live tiles. Take a look at the videos below to see some demos of the new Bing apps, and then see the video at the bottom showing the Bing iPad app.
The primary Bing app on Windows 8 is basically a search tool. Instead of loading search results as a normal web page listing, you get tiles that are much more finger-friendly and they scroll horizontally like many other aspects of Windows 8. You’ve got the option to search the web or image categories here, but no options for searching other things like videos or news. One very cool thing is when you snap the Bing app to the side, you can easily open multiple web pages in the IE pane on the other side of the screen thus allowing you to see both search results and the full web pages at the same time. It doesn’t seem to have some of the other intelligent search features that the Bing website or even Bing on Windows Phone has. For example, app suggestions don’t appear here, travel information doesn’t appear here, live social twitter news updates don’t appear here… and the big missing features are a lack of voice search, Bing vision search, and music search as found on Windows Phone and other Bing apps.
The Bing Travel app looks fantastic, but one of the best things about Bing’s travel search features (the flight price finder/predictor) is a bit hidden. There’s nothing terribly special about the Bing weather app, but you do have the ability to pin multiple live tiles for weather information in different cities to your start screen. The Bing Maps app seems to be a bit lacking when compared to Bing maps on other platforms such as the iPad. There’s no “Two and a half D” view and no street-side view, but there is satellite view and traffic views. It doesn’t look like the Bing Maps app supports indoor maps like on Windows Phone either.
The Bing News, Finance, and Sports apps seem to be beautifully designed and nicely very customizable so that you can taylor the apps to the information that’s most important to you.
The Bing for iPad app and the Bing for Windows 8 apps are drastically different and while there is some overlap in content there are certainly different features supported on each. Is there a clear winner? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Source: Bing on Windows 8