Bing mobile is in an interesting spot, analogous to its position in the online world. It’s constantly trying to differentiate its search products from market share leader Google. This goes beyond just core search, into each company’s respective products that orbit search (i.e., mapping, voice, image recognition, etc.).
Since Bing’s introduction, it has slowly chipped away share from Google and proved to have differentiated features for things like product, video and image search. In mobile, the story is much the same with an iPhone app whose features arguably outperform Google’s competitive app in areas like mapping and voice search.
The challenge for Bing — and a driver to innovate — is competing with Google’s default position on the iPhone for mapping and search (search bar within the Safari browser). Rumors continue to swirl that Google’s and Apple’s increasing points of friction have incited discussions for Bing to take over this default positioning.
But in the meantime, Bing continues to add features and its latest iPhone app (v.1.2) is no exception. A blog post from Microsoft’s Justin Jed explains more social media integration — making the app a sort of uber-social media client — in addition to bar code and image recognition software that go up squarely against Google Goggles.
Below is a more detailed list of the new features and screen shots. You can download the free app here (iTunes link):
— Camera scanning of barcodes and cover art.
— Connect with Facebook and Twitter accounts to see combined status updates.
— Show results from your social network when you search. Share search results on Facebook, Twitter, and through email.
— Expanded Shopping section with reviews, ratings, and prices.
— Additional clips and trailers in the Movies section.