It’s a little bizarre to thing of Microsoft making cool apps for Apple products, but a few months ago Bing launched on the iPad, and it was actually pretty impressive. Today, they’ve followed up with their first update, which has a snazzy feature called Lasso. After you tap a new option in the navigation bar, you enter into Lasso mode, and you just circle a word in whatever page you happen to be reading. Bing then launches into a search for that term.
Bing for iPad produces results in a graphically-rich interface that suits the larger screen of a tablet, and if you’re not looking for anything in particular, there are categories of content that you can skim through, and a Trends section to see what’s hot today. Maps and weather are baked in, as is voice search, and automatic suggestions while you’re typing a query. Gestures are a big part of the UI. For one, you can swipe from the edge of web pages you’ve loaded to go backwards or forwards in your activity history. The category view lays everything out in scrollable rows, much like Pulse News. Finally, there’s a movies section in there that’s powered by Fandango, complete with showtimes and trailers.
Bing for iPad 1.1 is a great update, and leaves me wondering why Google hasn’t bothered to make up something as visually impressive. The app’s free, which you can pick up in the App Store just below this demo video.