Microsoft's AI-enabled chatbot can now be accessed directly through three of the company's iPhone apps. Initially the service launched via Bing on desktop web browsers. With its arrival on iOS, the ChatGPT-based search bot is available from the Bing app, Skype, or the Edge browser. Not only this, but to begin a conversation with the chatbot users have the option to speak instead of just typing.
Safari by default uses Google as its search engine, which is no surprise since its market share of internet searches is somewhere in the neighborhood of 75%. Even so, Apple realizes people have their own preferences that may not align with the crowd's for any number of reasons, and has accordingly offered several other search engines for use with Safari - Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo.
Bing has joined the ranks of redesigned iOS apps, taking on a new color scheme and flat look inspired by iOS 7. Color scheme and logo updates mean that the Bing app now matches the web version of Microsoft's search service. The revamp is not only cosmetic, but the company has added several new features to its search app.
Version 4.2 of the Bing app now supports animated GIFs, and makes it possible to erase the local search history. Microsoft account users can sign in and stay logged into the app for a longer time period, reducing the number of times a password needs to be entered.
Bing has further improved its mobile search tools thanks to better HTML5 support and some other refinements. The new version is available using mobile web browsers on both iOS and Android platforms. Microsoft's own Windows Phone 7 will have to wait until the Mango update later this year, which will add HTML5 compatibility.
In a bonus for iPhone users, searches will now automatically show relevant App Store applications in addition to normal results. Microsoft previously added an iPhone apps tab to its visual search on desktop web browsers. Top apps can be browsed by category or organized by search criteria.
Rumors have resurfaced of ongoing negotiations between Microsoft and Apple involving the addition of Bing to the next generation iPhone. iPhone OS 4.0 could see Bing as an option next to Google and Yahoo if the talks are successful.
Initial reports from TechCrunch claimed that a deal was in place, however now it sounds like this is not the case. In January, Business Week reported that Apple could replace Google with Bing as the default search engine. According to TechCrunch, the purpose of these latest discussions is not to replace Google.