Home Why Google’s Search App Is Its Best iOS App By Far

Why Google’s Search App Is Its Best iOS App By Far

Google shipped a major redesign of its Google Search app today with a faster and more tablet-friendly interface for the iPad version. The launch page is now a spare, simple descendent of the iconic Google.com homepage for the post-PC era.

The search bar is front and center, collapsing to a top menu bar instantly when you put in your query. You can also access search history, Google Web apps, voice search and “Goggles” – image search using the iPad’s camera – right underneath. The new Gmail app for iOS may be a dud, but this update to an already-great Google Search app makes it the best Google iOS app by a longshot.

Google.app, which is a universal app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, was last overhauled in August, adding more search filters and Instant Pages for pre-caching result pages, so they load faster. In today’s update, the search results themselves are instant, too, showing up as soon as you type in your query.

The app now has even more tablet-friendly UI features, like a swipe-able carousel for viewing image results. It also has visual history, instead of just a text list of queries. It adds search previews that pop up before you choose which search result you want, a feature recently added to desktop search. And, of course, there’s a +1 button.

Google Search App Is Also A Launcher

This excellent release leaves iOS users with an obvious question: How can the search app be so good, while the new Gmail app is so bad?

Today’s update gives two possible answers. It’s now even easier to launch all of Google’s great Web apps from the search app, which was already one of its most useful features. That includes Gmail, and the Web version of Gmail is more or less the same as the native app, if not better in some ways. So using the Google Search app puts users one tap away from a menu with Gmail, Calendar, Docs, News, Plus and more, even Google Voice, which has its own (lame) native iOS app, too. This launch screen got a nice overhaul today.

The other reason this is Google’s best iOS app is voice search, also available with just one tap on both the iPad and iPhone versions. Apple’s voice-powered AI search assistant, Siri, bypasses Google for some searches on purpose, and Apple is buying Google competitors, such as 3D mapping companies, to find even more ways around Google. By building an excellent iOS search experience, with voice search just one tap away, Google can train iPhone and iPad users to keep using it for search, even with Siri on board.

Do you use the Google Search app on your iPad or iPhone?

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