Google launched an updated version of its search app for iPhone and iPad on Wednesday. What? You're still launching Google searches from Safari? Sure, you'll get the same search results because Google is the default search engine in Safari, but the stand-alone search app offers some pretty neat tricks.
At launch, you have three ways to search — old-fashioned typing, using your voice or camera by using Google Goggles, which finds search results based on image matching. Goggles (Google's app, not its recently debuted high-tech eyewear ) is best used for identifying landmarks. You must turn on Voice Search and Google Goggles in your settings after signing into your Google account.
You can swipe back and forth between your search results and a single Web page. You can also use Google's preview for search results instead of the typical list view. Preview allows you to tap the side-by-side page icon in the upper right corner and get a series of large pages that you can swipe through. Finding text within a Web page is a snap as well — tap the magnifying glass on the bottom (iPhone) or top (iPad) menu. Type in your term and each instance will be highlighted for you.
Unfortunately, Google's redesigned search app missed an opportunity to bring real multitasking to iOS. Say you've launched Gmail from the App screen and now want to check Reader for news. When you open Reader, it replaces Gmail on the open tab — you have to use the forward and back arrows to navigate, loading the same tab each time. Opening more than one Web page from search results could also prove handy.
Google Search is available for free in the Apple App Store.
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