Bing Comes To Android, But Only If You Have Verizon

With Windows Phone 7 coming before the end of the year, it’s not unreasonable to think Microsoft wouldn’t go about releasing new apps on competing platforms.  That doesn’t seem to be stopping the company, however, as it has now launched a Bing app for Android.

The Bing app provides an easy way for Android users to use the search engine, and it looks nice, as we’d expect.  The app includes the Bing Image, and changes everyday, just as the website does.  The app also includes Bing Maps complete with directions and traffic information, but it lacks the voice navigation that is present in all Android phone thanks to Google.  Bing also matches Google with voice input, but again doesn’t go as far as Google does with it’s new Voice Commands feature.  In all, the Bing app forAndroid is essentially the same as the Bing app for iOS, but it’s more surprising to find it on Google’s OS. {Mashable}

The most interesting part of the Bing for Android app is the fact that only certain Android users can even use it.  The app is only available to Android users on the Verzion network.  So, only those with some sort of Droid (or the LG Ally) are able to get it.  We can’t see the logic in Microsoft striking such an exclusive deal for an app.  Verizon does seem to have the most popular Android phones on the market, but leaving everyone else out doesn’t make any sense.  Although Verizon is the largest carrier in the US, an app doesn’t seem to be the type of thing that would convince someone to try the network in the same way that a sexy phone (e.g. the iPhone on AT&T) would. Plus, we’re sure that most people who use Android do so – at least in part, because of the integration with Google and the various Google apps like Google Voice. We won’t call this another KIN style meltdown just yet, but it’d be really surprising to see the Bing app become a significant driver of mobile traffic for the soon-to-be second place search engine.

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