Microsoft Rallies for Bing, iPhone Integration

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft wants more iPhone applications to use Bing as their default search tools. While not developing apps itself, Microsoft has released a toolkit to allow independent firms to power their apps' searching with Bing.

At the moment, Google is the default search engine on the iPhone, with Yahoo the alternative option. Anyone wanting to use Bing must use the web browser to type in the site's address rather than using search bars.

That's not easy with smartphones such as the iPhone where small and fiddly keyboards make manual searches inconvenient. Many users prefer to use dedicated applications for search-based tasks such as comparing flight prices, checking movie theater times, and the like.

Google In Command

Until now, most independent applications use Google to find and provide the information which power them. Given the popularity of the iPhone market, that's a lot of potential searches that Bing is missing out on.

The Microsoft toolkit will allow developers to more easily include direct Bing searches from any application running on the Cocoa or Cocoa Touch systems, the Apple systems which links third-party apps to the iPhone operating system.

Developers can set their apps to search all websites, or specifically search for image, news and video results. They can also use different techniques for searches depending on the balance between the speed and memory demands they want to achieve. (Source:


In what's something of an inside joke, the website used to distribute the toolkit includes the subdomain 'iBing', a clear pastiche of Apple's branding. (Source:

Given the often inexplicable nature of Apple's approval process for entry into its App store, it might try to block apps which use Bing. However, it's highly unlikely Apple would do so, as it would almost inevitably start a legal battle in which the only clear winners would be the lawyers.

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