Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 10:05 am PT (01:05 pm ET)
Microsoft brings Bing to iPhone, RedLaser tops $1M in revenueMicrosoft's search engine, Bing, now has its own application on the App Store that allows voice search, location finder, maps access and more; and the popular RedLaser app has earned more than $1 million in revenue.
Bing arrives on iPhone
The Redmond, Wash., software giant announced the new application's release on its Bing blog. Much like the browser-based Bing.com, the application shows the image of the day and clickable hotspots that include trivia.
It offers search of images, movies, maps, businesses, news and directions. Users can even check their flight status on the go.
"Make decisions and get where you need to go with Bing," the official description reads. "See the Bing daily image and related trivia on the home screen. Search maps or the Web with your voice — even say an address. Use Image Search and flick through previews. Download Bing today to find stuff nearby and get there fast."
Initial response to the Bing application has been positive, as 191 of 247 reviewers have given the software five stars. It has an overall score of 4 and a half stars.
The free application (iTunes link) is a 1.9MB download that requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.
Bing is the third application on the iPhone and iPod touch from Apple's rival to the north. Its previous releases are Tag Reader, an application that reads barcode-like Microsoft Tags, and Seadragon, which allows easy zooming and panning of large images.
Microsoft has tried for years to gain a strong presence in the online search business. The market is currently dominated by Google, which has its own iPhone application: Google Mobile. Last year, the software was updated to allow its own voice searches.
RedLaser's App Store success story
Occipital, a development team with just two employees, has managed to earn more than $1 million from the success of its $2 iPhone application RedLaser. The software uses the iPhone's camera to scan the barcode of an item, and then searches online to find better deals for the product.
After a slow start with no publicity, RedLaser (iTunes link) became one of the best-selling applications on the iPhone by the end of September. Currently, according to MobileCrunch, the software is selling about 6,000 copies per day, and has earned well over $1 million in revenue from more than 750,000 downloads. It has been consistently in the top 5 paid applications of the App Store for the last three months.
"Co-Founder Jeff Powers says that though the app hit the market in May, it wasnt getting any traction," the report said. "After releasing an update to the app which made it 'actually work,' according to Jeff, they saw a dramatic increase in sales. This was despite the fact that they did nothing different upon the re-launch and got almost zero press pickup when they updated the app. The hypothesis is that this came entirely from word-of-mouth sales, which is probably a good bet. Who wouldnt want to show off to their friends the cool new barcode-scanning price-checking app on their phone?"
This week alone, the application has been featured on Martha Stewart Living and in The Wall Street Journal. Occipital plans to release more App Store software in the future.
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