Microsoft Brings Bing To Verizon Android Users

Unveiled Monday, Bing For Mobile faithfully reproduces the Bing Web search experience on the smaller screen, right down to the colorful "image of the day" for which the search engine is known. It's exclusive to Verizon for the time being, but Microsoft says it does plan to make it available to other carriers' Android subscribers.

Android users can search for images using the app's endless scrolling feature, and they can also use the app's voice search feature, which "works great" for finding map location results and other Web search queries, said Andy Chu, a member of Microsoft's Bing for Mobile team, in Monday blog post.

"This works especially well when looking for 'Instant answers' which give you quick and relevant answers for things like movies, stock quotes, flight status and local listings," Chu said in the blog post.

To differentiate Bing from Google, Microsoft has been investing heavily in technology that tries to anticipate what users are looking for when they search. In the Bing For Mobile Android app, when users searches for flight information, they're presented not only with departure and arrival times but also with links to traffic, weather, news, and hotels, according to Chu.

Sponsored post

Microsoft has also invested princely sums in Bing Maps, and the Android app "also has a pretty smooth mapping feature," Chu said in the blog post.

Although Android's growth is a problem for Microsoft, its strategy with Bing is one of blanket coverage and search volume, and the software giant already has a Bing app for the iPhone. As of last week, searches on Yahoo sites in the U.S. and Canada are now powered by Bing, fulfilling one of the central components of the two companies' 2009 search alliance.

Based on current growth rates, Microsoft still has a long road to travel before Bing can be considered a serious threat to Google. In July, Google held about 66 percent of the search market, compared to 17 percent for Yahoo and 11 percent for Bing, according to ComScore.