As a part of Apple’s overhaul of its operating system for iPhones and iPads, Siri has gotten some brand new capabilities, including some web search help from one of Apple’s rivals in the smartphone game.
As announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in July, Bing is now powering Siri’s web search capability in iOS 7. That means the next time you ask your iPhone to show you pictures of kittens, Microsoft will be delivering the result to you.
All told, Bing’s integration with Siri helps a lot. The web search feels responsive, and Microsoft’s search engine feels robust enough that it always seemed like my test queries — including asking for images, information on famous people and information on not-so-famous people — hit their mark.
There wasn’t anything truly stand-out that made me wonder where this functionality has been all my life, but this partnership between Apple and Microsoft is a solid one, and stands to benefit both companies a great deal. Apple gets access to Bing, and gets to continue to snub Google, while Microsoft gains a legion of iOS users to use and help refine Bing’s search results.
In addition to the new tie-in with Siri, Microsoft has also released a new version of its Bing app for the iPhone with a few new features like new homepage tiles, and the ability to easily share results to Facebook and Twitter.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.