Just say, “New York City,” and a “Google Maps” look-a-like map with directions will show up on the iPhone screen. The “bing” App is a free organized information provider, from Microsoft, with a fun voice feature.
For the Long Island bagel connoisseurs out there simply say, “bagels.” All of the local bagel shops, that are registered online, will be displayed in the order of proximity to the iPhone. Any shops that are not online are not picked up by the App.
Like any Microsoft product this application has it’s quirks, and at least a couple of discernable bugs: for instance half the time one asks the voice recognizer for directions it misunderstands what is said. Asking for directions without going first to the “Map” or “Directions” section, (which is only one click away) will result in businesses near to the desired destination coming up first. Scroll down and down to get past this; it is no surprise that Microsoft would favor businesses over their customers.
Still the “bing” application is interesting. Upon opening the App, it asks for the user’s current location, and uses this to discern what businesses, maps, directions, news and movies are near to that locale. Click on movies to see all of the flicks that are playing nearby, and by touching “Avatar 3D” with a thumb a summary, rating, release date and the closest theaters playing it are shown, with the movie-times as well. This functions remarkably similar to “Flixster.”
The design of “bing” looks attractive, with a sleek desert background, filled with fun facts, and it would appear that Microsoft has attempted to copy “Google Maps” and “Flixster,” among other useful applications, and combined them to provide a marginally convenient information finder.