Microsoft skips Apple's copy, paste with Bing 'Lasso'

A new feature in Microsoft's Bing application for iPad aims to make it easier to start a new search from any page you're on just by drawing a circle around a word or two.

Microsoft's new "lasso" feature lets you circle a word, or group of words to start a search with them.
Microsoft's new "lasso" feature lets you circle a word or group of words to start a search with them. Microsoft

Microsoft is rolling out a new version of its native Bing application for Apple's iPad today that, with a new user gesture, aims to ditch the need to use Apple's built-in copy-and-paste feature.

Dubbed "Lasso," the gesture has users drawing their finger around any word or words on a Web page to start a new search from that selection. That's versus selecting those same words with a tap, drag, and button press using iOS' built-in copy-and-paste tool, or manually typing them into the search box.

In a blog post announcing the new feature, Bing group program manager Tony Chor says that "many searches" begin from pages users are on while browsing the Web, and that this feature eases that behavior from within the Bing iPad application. The data behind that claim is that users can save up to nine steps with Lasso compared with having to use Apple's copy-and-paste method, Chor said.

Along with the Lasso feature, the company's app is being updated to let users go back to see the past week's worth of Bing home page images, as well as see multiple days worth of movie showtime listings at once.

Microsoft released its Bing application for iPad in April .

Update at 12:07 p.m. PT: The v1.1 update is now live in the App Store. Also, CNET reader bojennet points out that the Lasso feature exists as part of Microsoft's tablet tool set, and is present in other Microsoft products like the desktop version of OneNote.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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