Microsoft Launches Bing Upgrade, Updates For iPhone, Android Apps

The new Bing for Mobile iPhone App offers a streamlined design with new auto-suggestion capabilities (such as for finding a restaurant), location-based reminders, voice search powered by MicrosoftTellMe, realtime transit updates for specific cities (Boston, San Francisco and Seattle), and Bing Vision, which lets a user conduct searches using a phone's camera.

The Bing for Mobile Android App update is less comprehensive, offering a new "What's Nearby" function, the ability to bookmark images from the Web to a device, and a search widget for searching third-party applications. Microsoft launched the Bing for Android application in August.

The Bing search site itself has a new user interface for searching images to find movies, events and music. The engine is now integrated with Facebook, allowing the system to pull data from the social networking site into search results. And a new check-in function lets users update their location through Facebook, Foursquare and Windows Live.

The updated Bing also sports improved mapping features that display layouts of shopping malls, museums and stadiums. And a partnership with Fansnap makes it easier to purchase tickets to games and concerts.

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Microsoft search sites, including Bing, accounted for 11.8 percent of all Internet searches in November, up from 11.5 percent in October. That's according to ComScore, which tracks Internet usage. Google accounted for 66.2 percent of all searches that month, down 0.1 percent.