Bing is fighting an uphill battle on Apple's iOS platforms. Microsoft has launched an avalanche of iPhone apps that are "powered by Bing," but the company's main offering on the iPhone remains the Bing app that offers access to search engine's core features. Starting soon, the Bing for iPhone app (iTunes link) will also offer access to Bing Travel for finding travel deals and a redesigned version of Bing Maps.Given that Google is Apple's default search and mapping engine, Microsoft's
Bing Travel focuses mainly on air travel. It was developed on top of Farecast, a Seattle-based startup that Microsoft acquired in 2008, The most interesting feature of Bing Travel is its ability to predict price changes. In addition to the standard fare search features, Bing Travel on the iPhone also includes a fare calendar that allows you to quickly find the cheapest time to travel and a flight status feature.
By adding Bing Travel, Microsoft is adding the one feature to its mobile app where Google is still lagging behind. With the acquisition of ITA Software, though, chances are that Google will soon offer its own travel service as well.
Microsoft also redesigned its maps feature in the iPhone app. This updated design makes the maps more readable, especially now that Microsoft has added more layers of information to the maps.