Bing tries to take control of web search on your iPhone by making it look good – TechCrunch

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Bing is on a roll. Yesterday he released Bing Entertainment and a new iPhone app. And today he continues with an update on his mobile web research at http://m.bing.com. Bing only recently became a search option on the iPhone, but it really wants to be your default mobile search engine. In fact, if you’re not careful, Bing will take over as the default search engine the first time you use it on your iPhone. A message box appears and asks you: “Do you want to change your search engine to Bing?” (Yahoo, other search options, uses the same notification). Once you do, the hope is that there will be no turning back.

The new mobile website looks beautiful in the iPhone’s mobile web browser (as well as Android, Palms, Windows, Kins, and Zunes phones). It’s more like an app, with simplified menu buttons at the bottom (local, maps, routes, movies, weather, favorites) and smooth scrolling through maps. The homepage features Bing’s signature background photo, which looks great on an iPhone screen). And right under the search box, you have the option to “locate me.” He was able to find my exact address immediately, which was problematic for Google’s mobile web search (I had to manually enter my zip code to get local results). Once you’ve let Bing locate you, it remembers your location for subsequent searches.

The menu buttons take you to an experienced search suitable for your location. The “Local” link will take you to a page that allows you to further explore restaurants, theaters, hotels, arts, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, automobile, and more. It acts as a mobile-friendly local directory (and a vehicle for Bing’s local search ads). All results are based on proximity. For each list, there is a phone icon that lets you call from the phone or the driving directions that bring up Bing Maps. You can also save any list of companies to your favorites.

Tap “Movies” to see a list of movies streamed nearby, click on a title to view individual times, a preview or even trailers. Instead of hitting the back button to find more movies, you can just scroll through the movie poster thumbnails in the top third of the screen. Who needs an app? Google’s mobile movie search retrieves similar information, but everything is presented in an endless scrolling format with too much white space. It doesn’t look so good. And as we all know, on the iPhone, looks matter. When I try to “Weather” again Google has a hard time locating me and it ends up giving me the wrong temperature.

I have already switched to Bing on iPhone. Who is with me?

Side by side comparison

Bing Mobile versus. Google mobile


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