Microsoft is to release a new Bing for Mobile apps, built on HTML5 with the aim for a robust mobile web experience. Because the core Bing app is written in HTML5 it will allow users to get a consistent experience across all platforms, native clients and the web. Moreover it will be able to make use of the specific hardware features on the devices to enable new services such as Bing Vision and voice search.
By leveraging HTML5, Microsoft can launch features on various platforms quickly because they’re built off the same base and it can keep a consistent experience between different platforms. And it eliminates the need to download updates for native mobile apps because the focus will be on keeping the application’s engine updated. Some improvements to first appear on the mobile web version of Bing, like Bing Deals,and transit directions should start appearing faster on the mobile apps.
With HTML5, Bing for Mobile Hybrid Apps can better answer user searches. While the current search answering process results in relevant information, Bing for Mobile will be able to integrate outside services more easily so users can complete tasks without leaving the app. For instance, a ticketing service can be integrated right into Bing for Mobile to fulfill a user’s desire to buy tickets.
Microsoft’s Stefan Weitz, senior director of Bing said that the idea is start unlocking the power of the apps so that engines like Bing can integrate with and use them to fulfill a request.
The hybrid apps also offer further improvements including:
Maps/List Split View — Users can see a list view alongside a map on one screen, making it easy for people to see what they’re searching for. This can also work for driving directions and transit.
Search History — Users can browse a history of their search queries.
Deals — Bing for Mobile will offer local deals aggregated from Groupon, LivingSocial, Tippr and other major deal providers.
Bing for Mobile Hybrid Apps will first appear on the iPhone in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as on certain Android devices in the United States. Microsoft is also working on hybrid apps for BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 devices.