With the glut of apps that have been getting updated to match the new iOS 7 UI, it is quite a surprise to see an update that doesn’t have much to do with the new firmware. Admittedly, the Bing app has always had Modern UI, but it isn’t exactly iOS 7-like in any way. The latest update of the app focuses more on adding to the features, rather than the interface. A number of handy shortcuts have been added to the homepage, making the app a lot like the Search section in Windows Phone. You can keep an eye on the search trends from the past week, find places near you (the equivalent of Local Scout on WP8), and Bing now offers some pretty thorough integration with SkyDrive for users wanting to keep their search history and bookmarks synced across multiple devices.
To access the new options from the Bing home screen, hit the icon in the center of the bottom bar. The four tiles that appear serve the following purposes:
- Popular Now: This section maintains a record of search trends across Bing. For each day, you can view the top seven searches, complete with accompanying photos. Tapping any entry’s tile shows the relevant web and image results.
- Nearby: Launches a map, with all the interesting places near your current location highlighted. It is possible to switch between aerial, road, and map views.
- Weather: Bing might not have many Google-like result cards, but it does show the latest weather data from your area in a neat little interactive square. You can even switch between units and scroll through daily forecasts without navigating away from the page.
- Images: You could to search for images using the Bing app in its older versions, of course, but the new Images section comes with a list of celebrities presently hot on Bing.
Apart from the shortcuts, there are some other subtle but really useful changes in the Bing app. For one thing, the option to share results and images have improved. You can now post results to Facebook and Twitter rather than just email and SMS. Photos can be saved to the camera roll with ease, so you don’t have to take the copy/paste route anymore.
When it comes to bookmarking pages within the app, the option is still in the bottom menu, but it does much more than before. Open the app’s slide-out menu by tapping the icon in the bottom-right corner, sign in to your SkyDrive account, and your bookmarks will be synced across all the devices in your use.
Bing for iPhone is a free app optimized for iPhone and iPod touch displays. You can install it to your device via the link provided below.