Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
Today Bing has launched ‘Edibly’ for iPhone, an application that will allow users to browse the Pike Place Market on their handsets. The application is designed to provide an in-depth and up to date look at the famed market.
Naturally, you can expect a good deal of bellyaching from Windows Phone users over the company’s decision to build Edibly for only iOS. Too bad. You can find the app in the App Store here.
Microsoft, in its classic PR form of threes, claims that the application will “help you shop with confidence, save time and discover new products.”
How useful is an app that only works at a single location in a single city? Not very, but that’s not the goal it would seem. Microsoft is calling the current release of Edibly a ‘pilot,’ indicating that in the future it could add new locations to the app.
What the heck is Bing doing releasing an application like this? Put another way, what is the search engine thinking? In some ways, it’s simple: the app is another way for Bing to deliver information to consumers to help them make decisions. The partnership with the Market also brings in more total data into Bing itself, information that could be baked into its normal Web product.
Bing’s search product also includes connecting points that emerge from search, moving users towards action – making a dinner reservation, etc – after they enter a query. Edibly could fit into that paradigm.
The app itself will tell you what is new at the Market, and help you complete your shopping list as it guides you with a digital map. If you shop in Seattle, Edibly could be useful. Here’s what it looks like:
This move is interesting, as it reflects Bing’s interest in supporting local markets. That contrasts with Google’s latest shopping initiative, as that company is looking to turn its US product listings into ad spots.
For now Edibly is more experiment than tool. When Bing adds new locations to the product, we’ll let you know.
Top Image Credit: bfishadow
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