Maybe it’s true that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” even in the world of modern business. Certainly, Apple and Google managed to team up against the threat of Microsoft during the pre-Android era. Now, however, it seems as though the tables have turned. Bing is showing increased partnership with iOS (the operating system from Apple that runs the iPhone and iPad). Their most recent addition included automatic app discovery as part of the mobile Bing SERP.
Here’s the basics of how it works. When you’re using an iOS device and conduct a search query, Bing will automatically provided related apps that can short-circuit or assist with your search process. On many searches only a few top apps will be displayed (for example, searching for the name of a new movie might pull up the IMDb and Fandango apps, while the rest would be standard web results). However, if you actually seem to be searching for an app (such as the search term “News Apps,” Bing will populate the mobile SERP with a wide array of related applications.
Most telling, though, is Bing’s direct link into the Apple App store. Users can click on these results in the mobile SERP and be taken to the appropriate download page (or to the app itself if the user already has it installed). Surprisingly enough, the functionality is exclusive to iOS; both Android and Windows Phone 7 devices have no such functionality. Whether Google is being intentionally excluded or not is uncertain, but it’s clear that Microsoft – at least when it comes to Bing and iOS – is making amends.
[via the Bing Blog]