Bing arrive as a new search option in Apple's iOS4 update yesterday, but Microsoft also just launched a new version of its native Bing for iPhone app. The app now features a RedLaser-like barcode scanner and an enhanced social search mode that highlights results from your social network on Twitter and Facebook. In addition, the app now also features a basic Twitter and Facebook client.Not only did
Twitter Client and Social Search
The Twitter/Facebook client is very basic and only allows you to respond to tweets, retweet and post new tweets. The app does not feature a URL shortener or any other advanced features. Chances are, you wouldn't want to use the Bing app as your standard Twitter and Facebook client, but the features are good enough to allow you to interact with your friends when their Tweets and Facebook status updates appear in your social search results.
Barcode Scanner: Fast, Easy - But With Limited Results
The most interesting feature addition to the Bing for iPhone app is the barcode and cover art scanner. With this, you can quickly scan a barcode an any product with the iPhone's built-in camera and compare prices at different online retailers. In our short test, the app was able to read barcodes pretty easily - even on an iPhone 3G without autofocus. While RedLaser and ShopSavvy sometimes take a while before they recognize a barcode (especially if you don't have a very steady hand), the Bing app quickly latched on to any barcode we threw at it.
Sadly, though, the shopping results in the Bing app can't compete with those in ShopSavvy, for example. While Bing only returned 3 results for this book, ShopSavvy returned over 50 results, including 15 from local brick and mortar stores.