Part Siri, Part Google Now: Microsoft Announces “Cortana” Virtual Assistant

cortana-600px Rumored for months, Microsoft has formally announced its answer to Apple's Siri and Google's Voice Search/Google Now: Cortana. Danny Sullivan is at the Microsoft Build Conference and live blogging it. Cortana appears to be sassy like Siri and can perform many of the functions that Google Now does (providing reminders and notifications regarding dates, meetings and so on). It appears to have numerous manual personalization capabilities as well. Cortana will also interact with and can launch apps on the device (like Siri or Google). Showing Cortana's smarts, there was apparently an examp [...]


New Video Shows Microsoft “Assistant” Cortana In Action

Cortana screen shot Microsoft will be introducing its Siri and Google Now/Voice competitor Cortana with Windows 8.1 in April. The new "intelligent assistant" will eventually be available cross-platform, although launching on Lumia Phones. The name Cortana comes from a character in the game Halo. It was originally thought that Cortana would look like her character in the game (see image right). However it now appears "she" won't have a face or a body. Cortana is intended to help users discover and search for information as well as providing Google Now like personalization and "predictive search" capabilities [...]


Bing Updates iPhone App With New Search Widget, Bookmarks Manager & Shake Feature

Bing Logo Within a week of releasing three new Windows phone apps, Bing announced a series of updates for its iPhone app, including a search widget to help with navigation, new image tiles, and a shake feature to see what stories are trending. According to the announcement, the new Bing iPhone app search widget has four buttons, allowing users to: return to the homepage, do a voice search, perform a text search, or view recent searches. Bing's iPhone app also now lets users do multiple searches, and manage recent searches from the "Recent" page: Swipe a tile off the screen if it's no longer r [...]


AdGooroo Adds Mobile Paid Search Spend Insights, Releases List Of Top Mobile Search Advertisers

adgooroo-logo Search marketing intelligence firm, AdGooroo announced it is the first to provide insights into search advertising spend on mobile devices. The new mobile search data is now included in the company's SEM Insights Tool, starting with data from the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Additional mobile insights now available include ad copy, impressions and clicks, click-through rates, costs-per-click at the campaign and keyword level. AdGooroo has also released a list of the top 20 advertisers in mobile search by impressions in January 2014. The list is based on impressions from the top 50,000 keywo [...]


Bing Adds Three New Apps For Windows Phones: Travel, Food & Drink and Health & Fitness

bing-2013-logo-featured Bing announced they have added three new Bing apps for the Windows Phone and refreshed several of their other apps. The new apps are Travel, Food & Drink and Health & Fitness. Bing Travel App The Bing Travel App helps you discover places to visit by providing destination guides, rich photos, expert reviews and more. You can pin your flights within the app, in order to track your flight status. You can search for hotels with sorting by price, class, proximity, or popularity and read reviews and book a room. You can view current weather conditions and currency conversion rates for your [...]


Bing Ads Expands Mobile Sitelinks Coverage In US, Will Roll Out To EU Markets

bing-ads-new-240px Bing Ads announced today that it will complete roll out of sitelink extensions on mobile devices in the US in coming weeks. In a post on the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft's Eliot Li said they currently have enabled over 60 percent of the mobile traffic on the Yahoo Bing Network (YBN) to run sitelinks in the US. Sitelinks for Mobile will launch in several EU markets, including the UK, France, and Germany, says Li. Additionally, Li says Bing Ads has doubled the number of mobile clicks by growing its network over the past year.   [...]


Microsoft’s $15 Million Check-in: Will Redmond Buy Foursquare?

microsoft-foursquare-featured Microsoft has invested $15 million in Foursquare and said it will license the former's location data according to news released yesterday. Foursquare aspires to be "the location layer for the internet." With real-time feedback about local data accuracy, based on user movements and check-ins, Foursquare is becoming a stronger and stronger source of local information. However I wouldn't necessarily agree with the notion that Foursquare's data are the most accurate in the market. Google and Yelp may still have better data -- although I suspect Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley would dispute that. [...]


Bing Rewards Program Now Available On iOS & Android Devices

Bing Logo Bing Rewards is going mobile starting today. According to a post on the company's blog, the incentive program that lets users earn credits toward gift cards for brands like Amazon, Xbox and Dominos, is available on iOS and Android devices starting today, and will be "coming soon" to Windows Phone devices. Currently, iOS and Android users can earn Bing Rewards credits by performing searches on their phone. Bing claims it will be adding most all of the incentive program features to mobile devices during the next several months. To access the mobile Bing Rewards dashboard on an iOS or An [...]


Following Android Refresh, Bing Intros New iPad Experience

bing-ipad-featured Last week, Bing refreshed its Android app. Today, Bing announced an upgrade of its app for the iPad. The primary driver of the redesign was iOS 7 and the aesthetics of the new Bing app are intended to match the new Apple OS. One of the most promoted new features, as on the Android app, is the ability to save the Bing daily image as homescreen or lockscreen wallpaper on the device. (This was apparently an often-requested feature.) In addition bookmarks can be saved/synced via Skydrive so that they can be accessed on other devices. The new app also permits sharing of search results via Fac [...]


Bing Revamps Android App To Match iPhone Features

Bing logo Microsoft's Bing and Google are pursuing very similar strategies with their mobile apps. Google's search app for iOS is essentially a browser and gateway to other Google apps and services. The same is true for Bing on iOS and Android. Earlier this week Bing refreshed its Android app to make its UI and design consistent with other Bing properties. There are also some additional new features, though those aren't fully specified. Basically we can assume that the functionality recently added to the iPhone app has now been incorporated into Bing for Android. Among the new features, users can [...]


Bing Updates iPhone App With New Homepage Menu, Improved Sharing & More

bing-logo-2013-200px Bing rolled out an update to its iPhone app late Tuesday night that features a new homepage menu, additional sharing options and improved syncing across platforms. Bing 4.1 for iPhone features a new homepage menu that's accessible from the bottom of the app display. It offers quicker access to Bing Maps Bing Image Search Bing Trends -- featuring the top seven trending searches each day Bing Weather The updated app also includes new sharing options for Facebook and Twitter, and the ability to save images -- whether from Bing Image Search or the daily Bing homepage image -- to yo [...]


Bing Launches News, Sports, Weather & Finance Apps For Windows Phone 8

bing-mobile-featured After releasing a number of new updates for the Windows Phone 8 yesterday, Bing announced today it has launched News, Sports, Weather and Finance apps for the phone as well. Originally released for Windows 8 last October, the mobile versions offer a new collection of apps for Windows Phone 8 users. Bing News App Bing has partnered with a number of national, local and region news sources, including Associated Press, Reuters, Gizmodo and The Guardian, to deliver a customizable news app that lets users track specific story categories, topics or sources. Users can rearrange headline clusters t [...]


Bing Brings Faster Search Results, Infinite Image Scrolling, Snapshot & More To Windows Phone 8

bing-mobile-featured Bing announced a number of new upgrades today for the Windows Phone 8, including search feature design updates, infinite scrolling for images and videos, ten new "Instant Answers" topics, and a new mobile version of Bing's "Snapshot" feature that offers at-a-glance information. With the new updates, tapping the Search feature on a Windows Phone 8 now will display only three result categories: Web, Images and Videos. Microsoft said the Local, Media and Shopping categories have been removed because, "...many people just don't use them." The intention is to reduce confusion by streamlining vie [...]


Bing iPad App Gets An Upgrade

bing-search-ipad-app Bing has quietly released an update for the Bing iPad App, adding new features and making optimization improvements to the app. The app can be downloaded for free over here in the app store. The changes, as listed in version 1.3 include: Bookmark Web/Image/News Search Query Provide Daily Trending Images with density layout Enable Map Local Business Category Search Add Popular Now in search suggestion Performance Optimization in iPad1 Enable Related Search in detail web page Enable Browsing Page Close Button Dictionary, Mind Reader, Voice Search (CN mkt only) I've te [...]


Bing Updates Windows 8 Apps Enhancing News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps & Travel

Win8-live-tiles Microsoft announced they have made major updates to the Bing Apps for Windows 8 across most of their apps including News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps and Travel. The video below walks you through the changes, but here are some highlights of the core changes to each section. News: You can now customize the type of news you want to see by category. For example, if you like sports but not entertainment news, you can tell Bing, and the app will show you only sports related news items. In addition to that, Bing has added RSS feeds and offline reading. Maps: The maps feature has improved [...]


Microsoft Shows Off Coming Improvements To Bing App’s Voice Search

bing-logo-200 Microsoft has shared video of what was a confidential, employee-only demonstration of new voice search capabilities in its Bing app for Windows Phones. The demo, reported by MSFTKitchen, shows a substantially faster and more accurate voice search experience that also performs better in noisy situations. In the demo, Bing's new voice search system appears to respond about twice as fast as the existing system. The speed improvement gives Bing the ability to show search results while the user is still saying the search query. The Microsoft employee giving the demo says that the new s [...]


Mobile Search Beyond Google: In App Search Tools

A couple months back, I covered the rise of a new generation of Windows Phones, and how they will slowly bring more mobile search market share to Bing. But, there's more to mobile search than just Google and Bing. The app stores for iOS, Android and Windows offer countless of downloadable apps that offer built-in search engines. Some of these apps are from major players in their respective verticals and may have a more direct impact on your business than the general search engines. Let's look at a few business types and the apps that provide good search opportunities. [caption id="att [...]


Last Minute Tips To Use Mobile Search To Ramp-Up Holiday Sales & Beyond

This holiday shopping season is predicted to the the biggest ever for mobile commerce. A new survey from Deloitte expects that holiday sales from mobile devices will hit $36 billion this year, accounting for 5.1% of the $925 billion online total. Your Holiday To Do List So, if you have a mobile store up and running, you'll want to make sure your mobile store is ready to attract, inform, and convert incoming shoppers. Here are some great tips from past columns that should be part of your to-do list: If you have a responsive design mobile site, you'll want to take a second look at the Tune [...]


Video: Searching Bing On Windows 8

windows 8 Microsoft released a video showing how you can use Bing on a Windows 8 powered device. They call the video, "Search Reimagined" and show off the touch aspects to search, as opposed to how search works currently on Bing.com. Here is the video: Bing on Windows 8: Search Reimagined from Bing on Vimeo. You can see how the experience feels a lot more fluid, interactive and fun to use versus the current search experience on Bing.com. Windows 8 is Microsoft's latest operating system release designed to work on their desktops, laptops, tablets, and home theater PCs. It is their most r [...]


Everybody With A Maps App Is Piling On Apple

apple-maps-square It's a marketing tactic that's about as old as time itself: When a competitor stumbles, you turn it into opportunity for self-promotion. That's certainly been the case since the Apple Maps app stumbled out of the gate a week ago on iOS 6. Bing is the latest competitor to call for attention. The company published a new blog post today touting its Bing App for iOS -- not because it has any new features, but because "you may be holding a brand new smartphone and wondering which apps have the essential search and mapping functionality you need." Bing wants everyone to know that its existi [...]


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