Microsoft’s been making some changes lately to make Bing more smartphone-friendly. It just added new social networking functions to the mobile version of its site, and added some features related to search histories and Bing maps. Another new feature is specifically geared towards iPhone users, offering relevant apps mixed-in with your search results.
The idea behind this “serendipitous discovery”, as Microsoft calls it, is that there may be an app that could really help you out, one related to your search terms, but you might have never even considered looking in the App Store to find something like it. Maybe you’re searching for information on when it’s best to plant certain vegetables – in addition to the web results for your query, Bing will now look through the App Store, where it might find an app that helps you plan a garden.
In addition to these apps returned amid search results, you can also explicitly look for some by searching for “top free apps” or the like. Finally, if you end up installing one of the suggested apps, future search results will let you jump right into that app with the appropriate query. The first time you look up “when to plant carrots” you might stumble across or example gardening app, but later the same search would let you pull up that app and go straight to looking for information on carrots.
Bing’s iPhone app discovery tools are up-and-running as of now.