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Microsoft launches new Bing visual search features on Android and iOS

Searching the internet if largely a text-heavy experience, but Bing is looking to make things a little more visual. Microsoft announced today the rollout of new intelligent visual search capabilities across Bing, Microsoft Launcher, and Microsoft Edge, each of which will now support easily tracking things down with a snap from your phone's camera.

Using visual search is a fairly simple process. Within any of the apps in which it's available, you can either snap a photo or upload one from your camera roll. From there, you can hone in on an object in the picture on which you want more information, and Bing will identify it. Visual search will then serve up more information on the object, including its location and links to explore.

One of the main features Microsoft is touting is visual search's ability to streamline shopping. If you spot a jacket, piece of furniture, or something else you want to pick up, you can upload a picture and Bing will return similar items, prices, and options for where to make a purchase.

Microsoft says that visual search is available starting today in the Bing apps for both iOS (opens in new tab) and Android (opens in new tab). Further, Android users can check the feature out in Microsoft Launcher (opens in new tab) and Microsoft Edge (opens in new tab). The feature will be "coming soon" to Microft Edge for iOS (opens in new tab).

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

11 Comments
  • That's nice, but Google has just added the ability to do this without taking a picture. Just point your camera at what you want to search. MS would be wise to add that ability soon.
  • Yeah but i think thats only for Pixel devices right..? I dont know if its coming to other devices soon...i can't do it on my moto g5splus without taking pics for google lens. I like that we can manually change the focus of Bing's visual search. Lens searches for everything it thinks is relevant but it may not always be relevant to us.
  • It's really nice that msft is adding this feature everywhere they can and not just in the Bing app. Having this as part of the Msft Launcher is awesome. I can't wait to see how they continue to evolve this feature. Hopefully we'll see some Local Scout features make a comeback through this as well.
  • I agree. What really is the point to the Bing app, anyway? It always struck me as odd that the Bing app existed. My understanding is that it does a similar thing to Edge, but just less. The only thing it does seem to do that Edge doesn't is Bing rewards. I might be wrong and just missed the point, if so please correct me.
  • I just wish this was available on a Microsoft platform. I'm not even talking about Windows 10 Mobile (I would include that though). How about offering a Windows 10 desktop app? HoloLens even? It's one of those things where I see MS telling people to build UWPs but then they, Microsoft, doesn't do that themselves. Would the app see oodles of use on Windows 10 desktop? Probably not. Would it show Microsoft's support for and belief in UWP and possibly give developers ideas for heir own UWP apps? Yes.
  • Agreed, and as a UWP, it would probably be useful for all the other rumored (cough.... andromeda) devices coming later this year.
  • Ditto. This is MS basically telling devs to go off on our own and build UWP apps, because they're far too busy building iOS and Android apps. I'm not against them building their apps out on iOS and Android, and actually applaud it. But they've given so much attention to these platforms that it detracts from their own platform. It's like they're giving a big middle finger to the faithful Windows devs who have stuck with them through the years.
  • Man that is such a pointless way of showing support and is a waste of time. let them spend their resources on something that makes more sense as a UWP.
  • They have the funds to do both hence why people are rightly disgruntled. It's not like Microsoft is hurting for cash thus have to focus on strict resource economy policies to get through quarter. They have billions offshore and ability to offset losses for years.
  • Is Bing still alive? :))) Amazing...guess Nadella is to busy deciding how to "retrench" Cortana first, before ditching Bing.
  • Hopelessly convoluted, as far as I can tell...
    1) Open Edge
    2) Make a random search
    3) Choose Image
    4) Press the camera icon which appears next to the search bar after an inexplicable two second delay
    5) NOW take a picture of what you actually want to search for
    6) Peruse the collection of not very relevant pictures that Bing have found for you