With Bing for iPad, Microsoft just launched its first native iPad app. The app, which is available for free, reformats Bing’s content for the tablet and is clearly influenced by the same design decisions that guide Bing’s web presence. When you open the app, for example, you are greeted by a large image that changes daily and the whole design is highly visual (far more so than Google’s search app).
The app (iTunes link) also features all of the standard Bing subcategories, including maps, videos, local business and access to movie times and weather predictions. Unlike the its website, Bing for iPad also puts additional emphasis on financial data and includes the ability to browse through current search trends in a highly visual interface – a feature that is currently exclusive to the iPad app. There is also a well-designed a news aggregator with a horizontal layout. Missing, though, is the ability to search for airline fares.
Indeed, with a focus on features like the news aggregator, maps and weather reports, one could almost argue that the emphasis of the app is less on search than on all of these auxiliary features. Given that most people likely just use the browser to search anyway, it makes sense for Bing to give its users other reasons to open the app.