Although Google may rule the roost on Android, Microsoft's Bing search engine now makes up over 20 percent of the U.S. search market and that number is only increasing. Luckily for us, Redmond just announced the latest version of the native Bing search app for Android, matching the overhaul the iPhone app got a few months ago.
The Bing search app is now more robust with a fresh UI, floating search button, and other useful bits for local searches. Some of the features now include:
- Near Me – Find the best of what is close to you
- Restaurants – See restaurants organized by ratings, deals, delivery, and online reservations
- Movies – See movies organized by what's new on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or genre
- Images and Videos – See popular people or animal searches or music videos or viral videos
- Actionable answers and connections to apps for movies, restaurants music and more
Additionally, there are new categories such as restaurants, gas prices, movies — just to name a few. All of those can be drilled down and refined for further clarity such as sort by prices, what's hot on Netflix, movies playing around you, highly rated eateries and more. For instance, you can watch trailers, read reviews, or even learn about the cast of a movie all within the Bing app.
Swiping up from the bottom of the app brings up the current weather and all the major news stories of the day. Moreover, you can use the News category to choose specific interests such as US, World, Entertainment, Sports, and more.
Holding down the Bing button brings up an additional camera button for scanning barcodes for pricing or a microphone for voice searches. You can still map the app to your home button (long press) if your phone and launcher support customization.
If you like the Bing wallpaper of the day, just tap the display to hide the on-screen elements, and if the copyright allows it, you can download the image to your phone. While the features are hidden, you can swipe to the right to bring back the previous daily wallpaper.
Finally, for settings you can choose to enable SafeSearch (no adult images or videos), private mode, Turn on the Bing button (search anywhere in your phone), use system browser, location, display language, and clear cache. You can also log into your Microsoft Account to collect Bing Rewards for your searches.
Overall, Microsoft's Bing for Android is a robust and full-featured search app that rivals other search clients including Google's offerings. The app is, of course, free and ad-free so give it a whirl or watch our hands-on video to see it in action.