Home Google Instant Comes to the iPhone

Google Instant Comes to the iPhone

Google is slowly rolling out Google Instant to iPhone users, two months after it launched this new search experience for the desktop. Users of a select number of Android phones were also able to use Instant on their devices already. While Google Instant already speeds up searches on the desktop, this feature is even more useful on mobile devices, where typing is more arduous and instant search results could prove to be a major advantage for users.

Update: Here is the official announcement from Google. A few notes: you need to use iOS 4 for this to work and this feature is currently only available in the U.S. (though we have seen reports from users in the UK and Canada as well).

Just like on every other platform, Google Instant will only work if you initiate your search on Google.com. If you use Safari’s built-in search box, only subsequent searches that you perform in the web interface will invoke instant results.

Given the size of the iPhone screen, Google Instant could turn out to be slightly less useful than on the desktop, though, as most of the results will be covered up by the virtual keyboard. Sadly, nobody on the RWW team here has access to this feature yet. We will update this post with our own experiences once we actually get to test it ourselves.

To toggle Google Instant on and off, you have to surf to Google.com – assuming you already have access to this feature, which seems to be rolling out slowly but surely.

When Google announced Instant in September, it stressed that it planned to bring this feature to mobile devices as soon as possible. Marrissa Mayer, who was Google’s VP for search products and user experience at the time, noted that “over the coming weeks and months,” the company would work to “roll out Google Instant to all geographies and platforms.” Now that this feature is available on the iPhone, it will surely also come to the iPad soon, where the larger screen won’t cover the majority of the instant search results.


While we are waiting to get access to this feature ourselves, here are some screenshots courtesy of our friends over at the Next Web who were among the first to spot this:

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