Hey, iPhone 5 owners, you needn’t suffer the ignominy of using a second-rate maps feature any longer. Apple’s own effort may suck, and Google’s isn’t ready for its debut yet, but Microsoft has the answer. It’s called Bing for iOS and it could save you from getting lost. Literally.
Apple recently suffered a round of negative press, something which the company isn’t really used to. The source of this negative press was the recent rolling out of iOS 6, in particular the new Maps function which, well, doesn’t really work. The range of errors, missing locations, and strange imagery is vast, and Apple is going to have its work cut out for it turning Maps into something usable. In the meantime its competitors will benefit.
The occasions on which Microsoft can openly take a pop at Apple are rare these days, relying as much on Apple messing up than on Microsoft exceeding itself. So when these occasional ‘perfect storms’ occur Microsoft can be forgiven for seizing on them with all its vim and vigor. Which is exactly what it has done with the Maps debacle.
It took Microsoft a while to react, perhaps in order to let the initial rabid press reaction die down, but it has now put the boot in via a Bing blog post. Bing for iOS contains much more than just Maps functionality, but it’s no surprise it’s this aspect that is given top billing. The wording is carefully pitched between being professional and downright mocking. It reads:
It’s the time of year when new phones are hitting the market. You may be holding a brand new smartphone and wondering which apps have the essential search and mapping functionality you need. Well, you’re in luck because Bing has you covered. For years we’ve put a lot of work into helping people find what they need so they can get more done. With the Bing App for iPhone, we can help you find what you need and help you get there – whether it’s down the street, on the other side of the world, or somewhere in between. We make it easy, too. Just tell Bing what you are looking for with voice-activated search – even addresses- when you need to be hands-free, and let Bing do the rest.
Microsoft is right to take this line, as on this particular occasion Bing is in the best position to offer iPhone 5 owners an alternative. However, I do wonder how many Apple fans will be able to put aside the fact it’s a Microsoft product in order to try out Bing for iOS. They would be fools not to at this stage, but if they’re that committed to Apple they won’t even dare glance at the competition once in a while then fools is a rather fitting description.