Goodbye Google Mobile App for iPhone. Hello Google Search App.
A new version of the Google app is now available for the iPhone, and this isn’t just a minor feature update — it’s a pretty comprehensive overhaul of the app’s look and functionality. It begins with the app’s “home” page (for lack of a better term), which now more closely resembles the Google.com look and feel and it’s focus on the company logo and empty search box.
Perhaps most importantly, the new app utilizes “swipe” functionality to make it easier to access different search options and filters — much like you do on Google.com. From any list of search results, a swipe to the right brings up the now-familiar list of search options on the left side of the screen.
But the app still suffers from what I consider a poor display interface on some searches, particularly competitive queries where ads are prevalent. Consider a search for [spokane restaurants] on the new Google app (left) and Bing’s iPone app (right).
The Google app display is dominated by a pair of ads and the beginning of Google Places listings. But the ads aren’t very helpful, and they’re so dominant that I don’t actually see any restaurant listings. Bing’s app, on the other hand, skips the ads and immediately begins showing me what I searched for. On mobile, simpler is better.
From my very limited time using it, the new Google iPhone app definitely seems like an improvement over the old version, though I think there’s still some room to improve to display of search results.
Here’s Google’s video introducing the new iPhone app.