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Searches go full-screen in update to Google's iOS app

Eric Bruno | May 24, 2012
Google has gone big with the changes in the latest version of its mobile search app for iOS, starting with full-screen searches and views for the iPhone. Other changes introduced in Google Search 2.0.0 Wednesday include speed improvements, an enhanced yet simplified user interface, and gesture tweaks for easy navigation.

As before, there's more than one way to search with the Google Search app. You can type your search text via the on-screen keyboard, or you can select either the Google Voice or Google Goggles shortcut from the main screen. With Google Voice, you simply speak what you're searching for into the iPhone mic, and the app will convert this to text, perform the search, and reveal the search results list all at once. Along the same lines, Google Goggles allows you to use the iPhone's built-in camera. Simply choose the Goggles shortcut, take a picture of what you're interested in--such as that fancy sports car in the parking lot--and the app will do its best to figure out what you just took a picture of.

There are two final items to note, both of which center on the newly added full-screen functionality in Google Search. Thanks to the app's full-screen image preview feature, when you search for something and select Images on the bottom navigation bar, an array of image thumbnails appear. You can select one of those thumbnails to view that image in full-screen mode, and then simply pinch to go back to the thumbnails. You're able to save images to your camera roll--a feature available in the iPad version of Google Search as well as on the iPhone.

Google's mobile app has always tapped into Google's other services, but that feature gets the full-screen treatment in this release as well. The main screen of the Search app has a shortcut that reveals all of the Google Apps in a full-screen list when selected. Selecting an app such as Gmail slides that app's UI in from the right. As you would expect, swiping the app to the right brings you back to the full list of Google Apps. This works for all of the apps, such as Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Google+.


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