Bing for BlackBerry adds local, image search

Microsoft's Bing team rolls out changes to the BlackBerry version of its Google-rival search app.

There's a lot to like about Microsoft's Bing search app, and as of today it has even more to offer. An update for BlackBerry OS 6 integrates a handful of new features--they're new to BlackBerry, at least.

The update gets home-page hot spots, a total of four hyperlinked areas on the home-page photo that link you to daily tidbits of randomly interesting information

Bing for Mobile on BlackBerry also gets several expanded search functions, like a flight status update when you enter your flight number, image search that's long overdue, and a local business search. That last uses your phone's GPS receiver to match your location to nearby businesses. We happen to use this type of feature often when exploring new cities or neighborhoods.

With Android and iPhone leading the OS charge, BlackBerry development often takes a back seat. Most of these changes are belated, but for BlackBerry users, they'll be welcome.

Bing's mobile app is available for free from BlackBerry App World. Although the changes are optimized for BlackBerry OS 6, the app will also work on OS 5 devices. If you've got a BlackBerry Bold, Torch, Curve 2 8520/8530, Storm, or Tour, you'll be able to use the app.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.