Bing brings bling to iPad searching

Spoiler alert! While I am loathe to praise anything Microsoft, Bing for iPad certainly brings the best eye candy (no, not iCandy) I’ve seen to a search engine. Does this make it a better search engine? I’m still using Google, but I’m lazy and I’m not a major fan of bling. But that doesn’t make it any less worth trying. Especially since it’s free.

Even though I originally wrote this post a couple of weeks ago, I had to make sure readers know I’m on top of my politics and current events. And what’s more current than Obama’s fake long form birth certificate. It was so phony Republican pundits were able to prove conclusively it was fake even though Trump jumped ship and seemed to admit it was on the level.

For Obama’s name? Barach Obama II, not Jr. If that doesn’t prove the certificate is fake it definitely proves Obama’s unAmerican. (And wasn’t it helpful of the mainstream media to support Republicans when they noticed?) For father’s nationality? African, not “Negro.” But everyone knows that in 1961 there were no Africans, only a world full of Negroes. This obvious anachronism not only proves the certificate is a fake, it proves Obama’s black ops guys can’t even forge a convincing fake birth certificate.

Way to go birthers. thanks for being on the ball for us.

So let’s begin to look at Bing on a weird note (and, yes, this anecdote means I actually wrote this post a couple of weeks ago to make sure I had something in the can for emergencies). Carol and I watched the new show Breaking In for the first time while I was playing with Bing for iPad to review.

If this bothers you (or Microsoft) that I didn’t give Bing for iPad my full attention, rest assured. How an app lends itself to multitasking, especially multitasking involving TV, is one of the most important qualities a reviewer should address. In the case of Bing for iPad, it doesn’t interfere with TV viewing at all.

After the show was over (we actually missed the pilot) I asked Carol what she thought of it. Her first reaction? “Puerile, but it had it’s moments.”

We both paused to process a word neither of has used since college (mainly because children, whose behavior would be the primary referent, wouldn’t even know what the word means) and then I asked her where that word could have possibly come from. She had no idea, it just bubbled up to the surface like a word fart (her words, albeit great ones).

That’s when I decided to test Bing for iPad’s speech recognition feature. I said, “puerile.” Bing for iPad returned “where Ohio.” No seriously, “where Ohio.” You can check the screen shot. Both of them. Because after trying again, making sure to enunciate, and still getting “where Ohio,” I tried “P” then “eurile” and got “pure Ohio.”

The interface delivers enough eye candy to allow you to gorge yourself on visual feedback without ever performing the search you launched to app to perform.

So Bing for iPad’s speech recognition failed on three out of four tries (it had successfully found my new blog “Righteous Indigestion” and even listed it above a rock band with the same name). So on the first test, the app’s most unique feature, it’s a bust. The number of correct hits could well improve the more tests I make, but the same happened with the Newton and it still went bust. So bust that Apple had to wait a long time before it could introduce the iPhone without people laughing.

Beyond that, Bing for iPad brings a lot of bling to the internet search experience. In a few months there will be something slicker with even more dazzling eye candy, but for now this is one of the best looking I’ve seen.

So much for word recognition. The word we were trying to find was “puerile.” After getting “where Ohio” twice, I tried “p-uerile.” Bing for iPad returned “pure Ohio.”

You won’t just find eye candy either. The home page features a dazzling image with interactive factoids, running headlines with links to current news, maps, movie listings, the local weather, stock returns and features. Should you want more you can pull down the navigation map for a couple of additional options (mainly “shopping”).

Oh, yes, you can also perform a standard internet search.

Bing for iPad delivers nothing more than interface. In the end, the information is the same information you would find using a standard browser search displayed exactly the way it would in your browser. Think of it as taking the scenic route rather than the express lane.

And if you really just want to browse the news or movie listings, you don’t even have to type.

Of course, you won’t have access to Google apps the way you would using Google for iPad. You can find your docs if you want to exert the effort, but they’ll be read only. So if you need to work online, you’ll be forced to use two apps. But what do you expect? Did you really think Microsoft would make it easy (or even possible) to use their competitors product? Hell, they have a hard enough time making it easy to use their own stuff, cloud be damned.

I also looked for a way to configure which broad search categories appeared at the home screen (e.g., shopping instead of movies), but couldn’t do so. This may come with the next upgrade but for now, you’re stuck with the searches they provide.

Jenny Manytoes rates Bing for iPad

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Bing for iPad. If you want your information straight from the glass, this isn’t going to do it for you. No apps either, like you could access with Google for iPad. But it sure will satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Search Engines, Shopping and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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