Bing’s new iPad app strives to be more than just a search engine. Sure, there’s a search bar up top, but the app’s greatest assets are its other features, including news, weather, and trends. Here’s an overview of the main features in Bing for iPad:
Like the Bing Website, the iPad apps’ home screen is a random daily image, dotted with factoids. Each one contains a link that brings you to a relevant Website — you know, in case you opened the app with no real purpose in mind.
Arguably the most useful feature of Bing for iPad, the news section contains 10 story categories, which you can swipe along independently. It reminds me of the apps from NPR and Pulse.
Bing for iPad’s weather feature is pretty standard, but the weather maps are a nice touch. They include satellite images, regional temperature readings, and Doppler radar.
The maps function is similar to the native maps app on iPad, but it also includes bird’s eye and aerial views. Street view is not available.
Yep, Microsoft still thinks movie search is a big deal — big enough, at least, to get its own section in Bing for iPad. The feature includes trailers for new movies and listings for local theaters.
If only Bing for iPad had a URL bar, and maybe some tabs, the app could be a full-blown Web browser and more. As it stands, you can search by text or voice, and navigate from there to any Website through the built-in browser. You cannot, however, open links in Safari. Strange.
Trends is a feature exclusive to Bing for iPad, allowing you to view the most popular search topics for the past seven days. Doing so takes you to a relevant news section or to a page on the Web.
While not a major feature, you can keep up on basic stock information through the ticker in the bottom right corner. A serious financial tool, this is not.
Besides tapping, Bing for iPad uses only one touch gesture: swiping back and forth lets you move between windows. It may not be any more useful than tapping a button, but it’s more fun.