Google’s Instant Preview feature, which lets users view thumbnails of the Web pages in results, is now officially being rolled out to mobile for Android and iOS devices. The feature, which is accessed via a magnifying glass icon to the right of the search result, had been spotted as early as the end of January on iOS devices.
The mobile Instant Previews extend the desktop feature announced in November, which is aimed at helping users reach their desired destination more quickly. The feature is likely to be even more useful on mobile devices, where smaller screen size and touchscreen input can make it more difficult to jump back and forth between the search results page and the web sites linked to. Instant Previews will work on Android v2.2 and up, and iOS 4.0 and up.
On a mobile device, when someone clicks on the magnifying glass image, a thumbnail — often enhanced with text call-outs — of the page beside it pops up. Users can then scroll through to view thumbnails of all of the other sites in the first page of search results. Clicking on the thumbnail takes people to the site itself.