Microsoft will try to lure iPad users to its search engine with a new Bing application built specifically for the popular Apple tablet device.
Called "Bing for iPad" and available for download Thursday, the application has been custom-designed for the Apple tablet's sharp and touch-sensitive display. It also has a feature that Bing offers only via this iPad application, called Trends, which displays popular searches of the past week.
(Anyone here with an iPad2 besides me? If you are in this business, you need to get one. It's a way of looking at the web which is going to rule very soon and it's impossible to explain or understand without working with it regularly.)
Some have been surprised that Apple let Bing go this far. I can image the meeting on it. "Why should we do this?" "Because it's a great app."
And it is. Even my wife is impressed, and that is as tough as it gets. Her attitude: All I need is a web browser and email, thank you very much. And she has a point. Many apps (such as the NYT reader) are worse than the web site, or no better.
Bing's app, however, is handy. It's weather, for example, tells you 90 percent of what you want on one page, unlike Weather.com and others on the web that want you to check out several pages.
The search function is exactly what you want on a tablet. And the news reader uses the touch screen to good effect--it's entertaining. The maps, however, are the most impressive.
Trends is just a website of "fun", timely stuff. It appears to be updated once a day. It's a good effort at carefully selecting material. If I was 22-years-old, or 14, maybe I'd enjoy it more.
Google has some work to do if they're going to beat this. When I search on the web now on my iPad, Bing is now what I use.