Bing Now Lets You Search iPhone Apps

With half a billion apps mounting in Apple store, finding the right app is a real challenge. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, brings an app discovery solution to easily search for Apple iPhone apps. Bing introduced a new app for iPhone that provides search capability and recommends other relevant iPhone apps.

Program Manager of Bing, Mujahid Hasan said;

At Bing, we are helping people with this ‘serendipitous discovery’ by surfacing relevant apps automatically in the context of normal search queries. Bing not only helps to find apps, but can also launch some of the installed apps directly from the app search results. If an App is not installed on your phone, when you click on the download link Bing takes you to download the app from the iTunes App Store. If the App is already installed and the developer has enabled the launch functionality, then it will launch automatically.

By integrating direct links to apps in the search results, Microsoft hopes to lure iPhone users away from other app discovery services such as App Shopper, Zwapp, Appsfire, GetJar and Quixey. Microsoft’s app discovery improvement on Bing includes Auto app discovery, Explicit App Search and Deep Launch into Apps (briefly discussed below).

Auto App Discovery

Auto app discovery is a distinctive feature introduced by Bing. Bing automatically finds the right apps based on the context of normal web queries. For example, the following picture show results when Bing was searched for Thor 3D, Facebook and Hotels in Seattle in Auto app discovery mode.

With explicit App a user can search for the app using the name or other criteria and the results will show the primary intent. The following pictures show the results for queries such as: Top iPhone Apps, News Apps and Download Fruit Ninja.

Deep Launch into Apps

The new Deep Launch into apps feature will help users launch some of the installed apps directly from the app search results.  This means that after clicking on the download link, users will be redirected to download the app from the iTunes App Store.  The application will launch if it is installed already. Currently, Deep Launch into Apps is available for 50+ apps on Apple’s iOS including Yelp, Facebook and IMDb.

Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone OS, Windows Phone Mango, will have a similar search-to-app feature by default. This is an attempt by the company to keep the users away for a sea of disconnected apps. To search for apps using Microsoft’s Bing, download the Bing for Mobile app or visit m.bing.com on your iPhone.

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