Many are aware of Bing as a search engine, but do not know of the extra features that the Bing application has that set it apart from the typical “Plain Jane” search application.
I must confess I was highly skeptical of the viability of Microsoft pulling off a successful search engine, especially in light of the disastrous Zune, handling of DRM formats, and botched tablet efforts. But more and more I found myself turning to Bing, especially as Google results seemed inundated with content farm and targeted keyword search sites.
The Bing application at first glance looks simple. Search options are listed vertically and the screen may be scrolled down to reveal all categories: images, maps, local, movies, news, directions, travel, check in, plans, shopping, social, and weather. Nothing exceptional so far. However – and this is a big however – if you tap the camera icon at the top right of the screen it will reveal a treasure trove of hidden features that are, well, quite handy actually.
For starters, after the camera icon is tapped you will find that it is excellent at scanning QR Codes and bar codes. QR Codes of course are the now ubiquitous dotted static patterns present on everyones business card (thanks to the innovative minds of the Japanese that started the trend).
I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Bing is also good at text recognition. (See the screenshots above for examples of this functionality.) These two features alone in my mind justify the free download.
Verdict: Get Bing from the App store here.
Disclaimer: I am not associated or employed by any company producing software reviewed on this site.