Bing announced on Wednesday that it is shipping updates to its iPhone and Android mobile apps.
The updates make use of HTML5 and attempt to blend the mobile browsing experience across m.bing.com with the traditional app user interface found on the Android and iPhone mobile apps. “Rather than tightly binding functions into a mobile client, we want to embrace the drive towards exposing our functions via an HTML5 experience,” explains Microsoft’s Santanu Basu in a blog post on Wednesday. “In order for search to advance, engines need to be able to call functions that are currently ‘hiding’ in apps so we can better help people get done what they are trying to get done.”
Microsoft’s use of HTML5 is designed to make the experience of using Bing consistent across the various mobile platforms available today. The HTML5 update that ships today includes the following new features:
- Maps/List Split View: Provides a dynamic way to synchronize a list such as business listings and directions and a map in a single view making it easy to see the location of what you’re searching for. Also works for driving directions and transit.
- Deals: One-stop deal shopping and convenient mobile phone access for local deals from more than 100 deal providers across the US.
- Video Domain: launched last month on m.bing, the new video domain is now available on iPhone.
- Transit/Real-Time: the Android app now features transit routing/real-time transit and news– all features that were previously only available on m.bing.com.
The update will not be available for RIM and Windows Phone 7 users initially. “We’re working to release the same consistent experience for RIM and Windows Phone 7 devices in the future, and will share more details as they become available,” said Basu. The latest update is available in Apple’s App Store and the Android Market.