Back in October 2015, Microsoft released an important update to its iOS Bing app. Although you could check Bing’s Knowledge and Action Graph for any kind of information you wanted, Microsoft realized that searching on mobile usually implied an immediate answers, so it put all the data right up front.
After the update, the search experience felt significantly improved – and almost comparable with Google’s performance in its own mobile app. Now, you can access that new experience on Android as well, as Microsoft has released a new Bing app in Google Play.
It remains to be seen whether or not the new format will convince you to switch from Google’s default search experience, but Bing’s new app is at least worth taking a look at.
If you’ve been coveting at Bing’s iOS counterpart, the Android one is essentially the same: it can answer natural language queries like “What is the population of Portland?” directly, without you having to scroll through a list of websites.
At the same time, searching for a city will display a few travel tips, some local info, nearby news and a list of apps that can help you book a hotel there, for example. You can also activate voice search, and scroll through a list of local points of interest – movie theaters, restaurants, and various things you can do in that city.
While remaining a solid search experience, Bing’s Android app includes some new features that weren’t present in its iPhone counterpart.
For example, tapping the “gas stations” button under the “Near Me” section will allow you to check gas prices from GasBuddy. Once you located the price that works for you, a single tap will help you get directions in Google Maps.
Microsoft also equipped its app with a bar code scanner; even though local retailers will frown upon this, you’re free to do on-the-spot comparison shopping. If you find something cheaper online, there goes your chance to save a little cash.
The bar code scanner is also available on the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, where you can access it via 3D touch on the homescreen icon. For Android, the feature will reveal after a long press on the big search icon inside the Bing app, while older iPhone users will find it inside the “Deals” menu.
Image Source: Search Engine Land