Google moves away from mobile web search with a dedicated iOS app
Google has launched a new search app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, integrating a host of new search options, a funky new design and the Google Apps suite.
In this self-contained app, web searches can be typed in the traditional way or can be conducted by voice search or image search, which uses the awesome Google Goggles based on photos taken on the device's camera. Users can now sign-in to their Google accounts for customised searches.
When you open the app, you'll see a standard search bar at the top of the screen and an Apps tab at the bottom. Summoning that tab will serve up a list of available apps like Docs, Calendar, Buzz, News, YouTube and the rest of the suite. It will also show you how many unread messages or notifications you have in apps like Gmail and Buzz.
Apps will load either in Safari or through the many standalone apps available in the App Store, such as Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Voice. The web searches themselves remain within the Google Search app, and a simple swipe to the right reveals a tap for limiting your search to images, videos, shopping and the usual host of options.
It's a fine update from Google, but we'd love to see a lot more of the apps contained within rather than farming things like Gmail and Calendar farmed out to Safari. The Gmail app is brilliant on Android and it'd be great to get one for iOS owners too.