Bing’s redesigned iPhone app focuses on instant answers

Microsoft released a completely revamped Bing app for iPhone today with a redesigned home page and a much larger emphasis on instant answers to search queries. Finding what you’re looking for now takes much less time.  It’s possible that this release is a stepping stone to the iOS debut of Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Google […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Microsoft Launches Redesigned ‘Bing’ App With Focus on Quick Interactions and App Discovery

Microsoft today launched an entirely revamped Bing search engine app for iOS, which it is hoping will reimagine search on the iPhone. The Bing app has a new design with a much cleaner interface and a series of quick action buttons that aim to cut down on the amount of typing a user needs to do to get relevant search results.

According to Microsoft, existing mobile search engines are a copycat of PC-based search engines – long lists of links – but the needs on mobile are much different. On a phone, people are looking for faster ways to get what they want while minimizing the number of interactions, an experience Microsoft is planning to deliver with Bing.

The main focal point of the app is a search button that launches a standard search for any topic, using either words, voice, or an image. This search interface includes popular search topics, like „restaurants near me,“ and it also includes links to search images, videos, or news, in addition to the web.

On the main Bing screen below the search button, there’s a series of quick tap buttons that will bring up things people often search for. „Near Me,“ for example, displays a list of venues that are nearby, and additional buttons like „Dinner“ or „Coffee“ let users drill down further in the search results without ever having to type a word.

There are also quick links to bring up local restaurants, current movies, images, videos, and maps, while scrolling down will open up a list of breaking news stories. Microsoft has put a lot of thought into the Bing search engine, and its results cover everything a person might be looking for.

As an example, if you tap the Movie quick link on the home screen, it shows movies in theaters, but it also shows new movies that have been added to Netflix and Amazon Prime, along with popular movies on both services. Tapping on one of these movies brings up information like actors and movie reviews, along with a long list of relevant apps. From the search results, a movie like Nightcrawler can be opened in Netflix, purchased on iTunes, rented on Amazon, or opened in VUDU.

Microsoft has made deep linking a major focal point in its new Bing app, and app-based search results that open the relevant app are available for many different types of searches. For example, searching for a popular restaurant nearby and then tapping that result will include all relevant associated apps.

A search for a local Chipotle brings up a map, a phone number, and a list of associated apps. Yelp, Foursquare, and Zomato are offered up as apps where reviews are available, while AllMenu is listed as a way to view the menu and Apple Maps, Uber, Google Maps, and Lyft are provided as options for getting there. For a restaurant with food delivery, Bing might offer up the relevant app, or for a restaurant that takes reservations, Bing will provide something like OpenTable as an option.

A search for a television show might bring up an option to open it up directly in Netflix, while searching for a particular song includes app links to watch it in the YouTube app or buy it in iTunes. In addition to helping people find things faster, Microsoft is hoping its deep linking will aid users in app discovery, helping them find new ways to do things via apps.

The new Bing app also takes advantage of Microsoft’s Knowledge and Action Graph, which incorporates 21 billion facts, five billion relationships between entities, and 18 billion actions to give users answers to common questions quickly. That’s been coupled with extensive work on indexing apps to build the backbone for the new Bing mobile experience.

Bing can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: Microsoft, Bing
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Bing on iPhone: A fresh design, a new approach to helping you ‘find and do’ stuff on mobile

The ‘re-imagined’ Bing app brings a new look and a fresh approach to mobile search. We take a closer look at the thinking behind the app, including insights from Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin, GM of Search. Read more…

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App Store search just got much smarter

A number of developers have reported noticing a difference in the way the iOS App Store now organizes search results. It appears Apple made changes around November 3 to the search algorithm to improve the relevancy of the results. Developers have identified multiple factors that are contributing to the new App Store search and overall, the changes are garnering positive feedback. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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TextExpander 5 Updated to Fix Crashing on OS X El Capitan and Other Bugs

Smile Software has released TextExpander 5.1.2 with a fix for OS X El Capitan-related crashing on launch and other minor bug fixes and improvements. The update is free for all users running TextExpander 5 or later.

TextExpander is a popular typing utility for Mac that can expand custom keystroke shortcuts into frequently-used text and pictures. The tool can insert text ranging from email signatures to paragraphs, automatically fix typos, autocomplete forms and more.

What’s new in 5.1.2:
Addresses El Capitan related crash on launch
Other minor fixes and improvements

What’s New in Version 5:
Suggests snippets from phrases you habitually type
Reminds you of missed opportunities to use your abbreviations
Customize snippet file location
Sync via iCloud Drive or any sync folder
Simplified expansion of lengthy fill-ins and scripts
Search and expand snippets, abbreviations, and suggestions inline as you type
Preview expanded snippet
Refreshed statistics display
Supports JavaScript snippets that also operate on iOS
Updated for Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite (required)

TextExpander 5 is $44.95 with a free trial available, or $19.95 for users upgrading from a previous version.



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Apple Releases iOS 9.0.2 With Bug Fixes, Performance Improvements

Apple today released iOS 9.0.2, a minor update that introduces bug fixes and performance improvements to iOS 9. The iOS 9.0.2 update comes one week after the release of iOS 9.0.1, the first update to iOS 9, and a month after iOS 9 was released to the public.

iOS 9.0.2 is available immediately to all iOS 9 users as an over-the-air update.

Like iOS 9.0.1, iOS 9.0.2 is a minor update that focuses on introducing some much-needed bug fixes and performance enhancements to Apple’s newest operating system.

This update contains bug fixes and improvements including:

– Fixes an issue with the setting to turn on or off app cellular data usage
– Resolves an issue that prevented iMessage activation for some users
– Resolves an issue where an iCloud backup could be interrupted after starting a manual backup
– Fixes an issue where the screen could incorrectly rotate when receiving notifications
– Improves the stability of Podcasts

iOS 9 has been available since September and focuses on proactivity and intelligence with some major updates to Siri and Search. iOS 9 also includes updates to several Apple-branded apps and it includes a split-screen multitasking feature for the iPad.

Today’s iOS 9.0.2 update precedes iOS 9.1, which will be the first significant update to iOS 9. iOS 9.1 includes new emoji, settings for acclimating the „Hey Siri“ activation feature to an individual user’s voice, and an option to disable contact photos in Messages. It also focuses on introducing compatibility for upcoming Apple products like the iPad Pro and the Apple TV.



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