Bing for iPad

Bing for iPad is here, a destination for all your Bing search queries and a handful of other things, like maps, movie trailers, news, and more. So how does Microsoft's vision of a touchscreen future look? Pretty damn nice.

What is it?

Bing, Free, iPad. Bing has finally officially landed on the iPad, and instead of just serving up search, their app is a slick portal to all things Bing: search, natch, but also weather, news, maps, movies, trends and the like. And it looks great! Slick transitions make menus materialize rather than simply appear; menu tiles update dynamically on the home panel; and images and video get shoved in your face at every turn. I mean that in a good way. All this content is connected with simple, intuitive navigation via a swipeable, tappable bar omnipresent at the top of the display, all amounting to a much more unified (and pretty) experience than Google's iPad offerings.


Who's it good for?

People who want to see what Microsoft has in mind in terms of tablet UI; Bing users; people who are Google search die hards but want to see what Bing has to offer otherwise.

Why's it better than alternatives?

Bing, while likely destined to remain second place in search, is still a formidable foe as a greater interweb portal, and the visually-rich style of their website translates beautifully to the iPad. And while Google's services have mostly been carved up into their own distinct apps or web apps, Bing's are all offered under this one app's roof. Which is in many ways an advantage: you can move fluidly between search results, images, video, news, and popular searches. There aren't many competitors who cover the same range—offering their own web search, as well as search trends, news aggregation, maps, weather, etc.—and none who cover that range in such a nice (and free!) package.

Illustration for article titled Bing for iPad

How could it be even better?

Of course, Bing's kinda late to the game here—you may already have your go-to tablet resources for search, news, maps, etc, and there's a chance that Bing spreads itself a bit too thin to do all of this things as well as a handful of specialized apps.

Illustration for article titled Bing for iPad

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Huh. I'm not a fan of Bing as a search engine—in fact, I kind of hate it—but the app is actually quite nice. The interface is pretty cool, everything is snazzy without being obnoxiously flashy or gimmicky.

I might keep it just for the maps. It loads maps a whole lot faster than Google Maps does, and unlike Gmaps, Bing actually finds my location. (Seriously, why is it that the only app on my iPad that can't figure out my location is Gmaps?)