Microsoft just launched a new version of its Bing iPhone app. The iPhone app gives you comprehensive access to Bing's core services, including Bing maps and directions, as well as news and image search. Besides offering better stability and a few interface tweaks, the new version of the Bing app also integrates more tightly with the iPhone by giving you access to your contacts in the mapping feature and making it easier to copy and paste URLs and share interesting results through email.

Releasing Bing for iPhone Worldwide was an Accident...

Just as it launched this new version of the app, however, Microsoft also pulled the Bing applications from all the non-U.S. versions of the App Store. According to a statement Microsoft sent to Neowin, the company "inadvertently made it available to all countries in which the Apple Marketplace has a presence." Why it took Microsoft three months to pull the app, which was released in December 2009, remains a bit of a mystery.

New Features

If you are in the U.S., however, the Bing iPhone app remains to be the best way to access Microsoft's "decision engine" on your phone. The new version now includes a number of interesting new features. One of the most useful features is the app's ability to let you bookmark maps, websites and direction. Sadly, however, this feature isn't integrated with Apple's Safari, so your bookmarks don't carry over to the iPhone's default browser.

Other new features include better parental control settings, private search and the ability to edit your search history and support for first generation iPod touch devices.