‘Bing for iPad’ has been in the App Store awhile, with the aim of becoming a solid competitor to Google.

The ‘Bing is not Google’ slogan might be true, but the well-designed application has had steady growth since its launch back in 2009. The iPad application should help Microsoft’s plan for domination of the search world, and show them how a good application should look – for future Windows-based tablets.

On launching the application you are welcomed by a photograph (a changing one) with small transparent squares appearing when you tap on the picture. On the bottom of the screen you find small boxes displaying weather, news, maps, movies, trends and finance – these you can reorder by tapping and holding them, and a single tap launches the appropriate screen.

The weather screen shows the weather forecast for your location, and you can even add other locations easily for further reference. The finance screen can be personalized to show stocks or indices you are interested in tracking, and the box updates with fresh information throughout the trading day.

Bing has some powerful features such as news tracking – in comparison ‘The Daily’ statistics are not so positive with its article-sharing statistics falling daily. Bing provides top stories with news from around the world, US, business, sports, entertainment, technology and science, and even health news in a simple grid format – and there is room for local news too –  all available at a simple tap.

A useful feature of Bing is ‘search by voice’. Start by tapping on the microphone icon at the top of the display and you now have a ‘listening’ window.

An application with a set of useful features, however, the first crash will remind you that it still comes from Windows!