Microsoft is making it easier for iPhone users to find apps using Bing.
The Bing team has improved iPhone mobile app discovery across its latest updated version of Bing Mobile Browse. Microsoft is trying to surface applications that people would never have searched for, through its Bing search engine.”We are helping people with this “serendipitous discovery” by surfacing relevant apps automatically in the context of normal search queries,” explains Bing program manager Mujahid Hasan.
The feature is U.S. only at the moment but it surfaces iPhone applications in the context of a normal web query. For example, if you search for Facebook or Hotels in Seattle you will be presented with the Facebook application and Trip/hotel related applications. iPhone users can also explicitly search for the application they are attempting to find. If you search for “News apps” then you’ll be presented with applications such as CNN News or Fox News. You can also search for “Fruit Ninja” and you will be presented with a link to the application.
iPhone users can download the applications from iTunes, thanks to a handy download link in Bing. Microsoft hasn’t stopped there though. You can also launch some apps directly from the search results. If an application isn’t installed when you click the “download app” link, it will take you to the iTunes App Store. Over 50 apps, including Yelp, Facebook and IMDb can be launched dirtily from a bing search. Some even support deep launching, allowing a search query to be placed into the application. For example if you search for “Thor 3D” and have the IMDb app installed, clicking on the download link will launch you into the IMDb search experience within the IMDb iPhone app.
The updated iPhone app search is available immediately on m.bing.com