Bing 1.1 for iPhone: Nice But Sluggish (especially maps)

There’s persistent rumors that Microsoft’s Bing will become the iPhone’s default search engine. This has already happened for certain Android models (including AT&T’s first Android-based phone). So, there may be some merit to this rumor. So, I’m paying attention to Bing for iPhone a bit more than I might normally. Microsoft announced a 1.1 update for it last week:

new bing app for iphone is here!

This update brings:
– Bookmarks
– Copy/paste URLs (which, ironically will not be available in Microsoft’s own Windows Phone 7)
– Parental controls
– Search history & private search
– Explicity location setting
– Autosuggests contacts in Address book when entering start and end locations
– Support for 1st generation iPod touch

While the app looks nice and integrates search and maps in a reasonable fashin, it seems extremely slow to me. I tested on an iPhone 3G with a WiFi connection. Maps took a long time to render even when in “road style” (drawn lines vs. satellite or terrain images). Search was so slow that my iPhone’s screen faded to black seconds after the results for searching “Windows Phone” was returned.

Bing 1.1 for iPhone