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Bing iPhone app update comes with a bang

Microsoft releases a major update for its Bing app for the iPhone with some major improvements.

The Bing app for the iPhone Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

Since itsintroduction late last year, Bing has been a worthy rival of the Google Mobile App on the iPhone and iPod Touch by combining a map, a browser, search app, and a few other nifty features into one. According to Microsoft, there have been more than a million downloads of the Bing app for iPhone so far.

The app just recently got even better with its 1.1 update, which was released on Friday. Apart from a number of stability fixes and usability tweaks, it also adds a few major features and improvements, including:

  • Bookmarks and improved Web browsing: You can now bookmark maps, directions, Web sites, businesses, search terms, even the weather report, and get to the bookmarks right from the Bing home page.

  • Bing now has a Parental Control feature. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET
  • Sharing: You can share interesting results with your friends using e-mail.
  • Copy and paste URLs.

  • Parental control on search settings: Users can now set a SafeSearch level and create a pass code so it can't be changed. As Bing works independently from the Parental Control feature of the iPhone, this is a benefit for parents who want to make sure the kids are only visiting safe sites on their devices.

  • Search history and private search: You can now view and edit your search history. You can also search the Web without saving your history on the device using private search.

  • Explicit location setting: Apart from finding your current location, the app now allows you to set a specific location and find things around it. This is a very useful feature when you are going to visit a new city and want to find things around there, prior to your arrival.

  • Tighter integration of contacts in directions: Bing now autosuggests contacts from your address book when you enter start and end locations in directions.

Other than that, the new Bing now also supports the first generation of the iPod Touch; you can use the app on all versions of the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

Like the first release, the 1.1 update of Bing is available for free and can be downloaded here.