Aug. 1, 2011 at 3:33 PM ET
Google has morphed its search appearance for tablet users, but not everyone is liking the changes, with some considering them a step backward.
"Honestly, i hate it, looks like bing. Its slow and not productive. The search results have been dumbed down," wrote "The Fighting Consumer" on Google's blog announcing the changes. "The Fighting Consumer" remarks were typical of many who appear to be unhappy with the Google's latest move to modify search on touch-based devices like tablets.
Xiaorui Gan, a company software engineer, said that Google has "simplified the layout of search results pages and increased the size of page contents like text, buttons and other touch targets to make it faster and easier to browse and interact with search results in portrait or landscape view."
Now, the search button, located below the search box, "provides quick access to specific types of results like Images, Videos, Places, Shopping and more. Just tap to open the search menu and select an option to see results in one category.
"For image results, we focused on improvements that enhance the viewing experience such as enlarged image previews, continuous scroll, and faster loading of image thumbnails."
For iPad users — who are the majority of tablet users so far — that means no pinching and zooming to maneuver the tablet's screen.
"I absolutely hate it!!!!! Can't pinch and zoom. Going to start using yahoo. Google what were you thinking?" wrote Mark K.
Another, "ElNono_," called the change a "major step back for people with disabilities that specifically use pinch and zoom to be able to blow up text and read.
"A family member owns an iPad for that reason alone. Goes without saying she's no longer a Google search user. At the very least I expected an option to revert to the older interface, but that doesn't seem to be available either. Two thumbs down."
User Kurt said, "Unfortunately, this change disables pinch-to-zoom on the iPad and locks you into a relatively small font size that isn't easily readable for people with low vision. I wish Google would either not disable pinch to zoom or allow the user to select a bigger font size."
He also added that he found a "less than optimal workaround for the accessibility problems of the new google search results page on the iPad. If you use the Opera browser instead of the default Safari browser, you still get the old zoomable results page. Hopefully Google won't 'fix' it until they make their new search results page more accessible :)"
And he suggested that another "workaround" is to "use the Google mobile search URL http://www.google.com/m. At least for the moment, this works well for the iPad's default browser."
The "improved search experience is rolling out in the coming days to iPad and Android 3.1+ tablets across 36 languages," Gan wrote.
But Google, as it always does, will be monitoring the feedback, and may make additional changes to appease unhappy users.
"I hate this!" wrote "chancee," who said, "Reminds me of AOL back in the day. .. I want the real Internet! Why can't I choose to have the normal version like I use on my desktop? Like I had on my iPad a week ago!"