Bing For iPhone, Now With Added Social Search And Google Goggles-Like Feature

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Microsoft has just released an updated version of the Bing for iPhone app (iTunes link), and it brings two major goodies.

The first is a Google Goggles-like feature for visual scanning of certain objects, and secondly come search enhancements that take the engine beyond traditional searching to include status updates from your social graph.

In a blog post, Bing for Mobile group product manager Justin Jed writes about the new features.

You can now connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts and see combined status updates from your friends from within the Bing app. For any type of search from the free Bing app for iPhone and iPod touch, you will also be able to see both Web results and relevant results from your contacts across social networks.

Jed cites an example where you would do a search for a movie, after which you would get movie showtimes first and anything your friends on social networks may have said about it next. In addition, when you find something you like using the app, you can easily share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or through email.

The Google Goggles-type feature that I referred to earlier is called Visual Scanning in Redmond. The Bing app now lets you scan barcodes and cover art on the fly using your iPhone camera. Users can thus scan the barcode of any product or the cover art of books, CDs, DVDs, or video games, after which they will see descriptions and occasionally also reviews, prices and links to merchant websites.

The updated app also brings some improvements to the Movies section, where you can now get even more video and trailers and easier access to movie showtimes. Finally, a brand new Shopping section lets you find products along with prices and links to stores selling the products straight from the app.

Check it out and tell us what you think. I’m in Belgium, so Microsoft feels I should not be able to download and install Bing on my iPhone.

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