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Daniel Nations

New Google Search for iPad

By August 1, 2011

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Google introduced a new search experience for tablets on Friday, using HTML 5 to give Google Search a more app-like feel. The new Google Search takes into account the smaller screens used on the iPad and Android-powered tablets, giving each individual search result more space so that the results don't look all squished together. It also moves many of the search features found on the left-side menu up to the top of the screen where they will be easier to access.

The end result? It might actually be a more functional version of search than the PC version.

For example, if I search for "guitar", the first result is Wikipedia explaining that a guitar is a "...plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick." Of course, if I'm a living, breathing person, I probably know that the guitar is an instrument. (In fact, I'm pretty sure most zombies know the guitar is an instrument too.)

What if I'm looking to buy a guitar? I probably want to find nearby store, and doing so on the new iPad search is pretty simple. On the right side just under the search box is a button labeled "All results." A quick tap reveals different ways to modify the search, such as searching for sites with images, timeline, dictionary, reading level and nearby. And as you might have guessed, choosing "nearby" gives me a nice little map with nearby stores highlighted.

How would I do this on the PC version of Google? It's buried in the left-side menu under "All results". And because only the first few options actually appear on the page, you have to choose "More search tools" to find it. So it's no wonder most of us have never discovered that search feature.

The coolest new feature? The mere fact that I typed in "PC version" when referring to Google search. Pretty soon, the tablet age will take over and "PC version" will become more synonymous with "old version".

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August 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(1) Dean says:

I dislike this new appearance immensely.
Not only is the font way too big, but the iPad keyboard no longer works in landscape mode (on the initial google home page). The keyboard will not stay open, unless you turn the iPad to portrait mode.

I think the previous format was much more usable.

August 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm
(2) Kim says:

Worst. Format. Ever.

August 2, 2011 at 3:28 am
(3) Ann says:

Don’t like it!!!

August 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm
(4) Tim says:

Horrible. Simply horrible. Now, I have to turn my iPad to get the keyboard to stay up, and use the smaller keys to type. Google is going downhill. First with Android, next with Google Maps, now this. Sell your stock, before it plummets!

August 3, 2011 at 1:48 am
(5) Mad says:

Old display better for iPad. This one sux, I will have to use another search engine. This one is too big…

August 3, 2011 at 2:25 am
(6) Stretch says:

Grrrr im gonna need to find another search engine for IPAD… THis one now stinks, old format atleast worked in portrait mode.

August 3, 2011 at 2:27 am
(7) Shaun says:

It’s crap. Seriously. I HATE it. On the iPad you can no longer hit the “search” button from the keypad either.

Why do companies like Google keep trying to “improve” stuff that doesn’t need improving? So people can keep and justify their jobs?

The font is too big. Let me decide what *I* want, Google.

Way to go. Another company trying to destroy itself.


August 3, 2011 at 3:28 am
(8) Jared says:

I’m with that lot the new search is well less than satisfactory and I wish there was just a way for those of us who enjoy the old one to still enjoy the old one, google I hope your listening to us and decide to go back to the “good” version. I’m sure this new version is great on those smaller screens of say the iPod and iPhone but we got tablets so we woulda not have to go through these troubles of GIANT fonts and things of the like! So please google change back or become another ruddy search engine like bing! Please…

August 3, 2011 at 3:33 am
(9) JKM says:

This is dreadful on the iPad. I have been lauding Google for many years, and, in one day, it has turned from the best looking to the worst looking search engine.

Has anyone any idea how I can get back to the original display? There doesn’t seem to be an obvious option.

August 3, 2011 at 5:14 am
(10) Bob says:

The ipad has a large screen.
I want as much info as possible without needing to scroll.
Good interface design allows users to format to their preferred view.

This is poor design.
I may switch my iPad search to Yahoo or Bing

August 3, 2011 at 5:35 am
(11) Herve says:

utter crap. I immediately switched to bing on iPad. Learn to listen to users before doing things you are alone to think they are great Google.

August 3, 2011 at 8:31 am
(12) Gary says:

I thought something had gone wrong with the zoom function on my iPad only to find out Google has “improved” their search page! Give people a choice to use the search screens they want and don’t limit our choices. Typical IT approach to business.

August 3, 2011 at 9:20 am
(13) Duds says:

HATE the new format. I liked the cluttered look. It was one stop shopping. On the image page you could click on the image and get a small description. Now when I click it takes me to the page…so I am constantly back and forth. Really annoying. Also the similar feature is gone on website results. Font is too big and Ipad pinching is disabled. I’m sure there are other so called “improvements” that I would find a pain but not willing to “Google it” anymore. Off to find a better search engine. If the old format returns or an option to select it I’ll be back. Maybe

August 3, 2011 at 9:38 am
(14) John says:

It’s crap. How do you turn it back to the old version?

August 3, 2011 at 9:45 am
(15) Paul little says:

This is a BAD BAD BAD format with this you can only see one link,at most, on the whole screen Instead of being able to browse down the screen to see what you want! GO back to the old format or a lot of people will be changing search engines! Do we have any kind of option that I don’t know about, I want my iPad to look like it did before!

August 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm
(16) Scott says:

What group of inept beta testers actually gave this their blessing. Horrible concept and layout. The lack of zoom is the clincher though. Seriously?

August 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm
(17) Maria Grazia Fallai says:

Bad, bad, change. Now to do any search I have to finger the screen forever. I hope Mr. Jobs reads this, he’s got better sense than whomever implemented this change.

August 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm
(18) David says:

Hate it, hate it

August 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm
(19) Lilac says:

I absolutely hate the new format! I thought something went wrong in my settings. How is bing for the iPad?

August 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm
(20) Samantha Wesley says:

I loathe it with my whole being! If I don’t get an option to have it the old way, bing here I come.

August 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm
(21) Mad User says:

New Google search for iPad sux. Horrible!

August 4, 2011 at 12:59 am
(22) Bc says:

Horrible new format!!! Looks like sh$& on iPad

Wtf were you thinking google?

August 4, 2011 at 9:35 am
(23) ipad says:

I’ve placed a poll on a new blog entry so that we can all vote on our displeasure of the new search:

Google Search Poll – Do You Like It?

August 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm
(24) diane says:

Hate, hate it. looks like google is upgrading and this is what they left us to use for the time being!!! Bring back the other format PLEASE….

August 5, 2011 at 11:18 am
(25) Sally North says:

I hate it, have changed to “Bing”

August 5, 2011 at 11:44 am
(26) surfer2 says:

This does suck on the ipad, is it as bad on an android tablet? Is google out to sabotage the ipad? It is hard to imagine they could have put this crap out accidentally.

August 6, 2011 at 2:27 am
(27) Louise says:

I hate the new google,it’s terrible on iPad ,I’m going to switch to yahoo immediately

August 6, 2011 at 4:28 am
(28) Dmeyyc says:

Terrible. 2-3 results on the whole iPad screen!? Be bye google, hello Bing.

August 6, 2011 at 5:00 am
(29) Davedownunder says:

Only good thing the google iPad search display is good for is one last search for a new search engine.

August 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm
(30) Brenda says:

I hate this google. Give me back my old google or I will have to go!!!

August 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(31) herbert says:

i dont like it, the older was much better

August 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm
(32) Chance says:

I’ve switched to bing on iPad. Google should donate their stockpiles of cash to world hunger instead of trying to improve things that don’t need improving

August 7, 2011 at 11:12 am
(33) Dj says:

I hate, hate, hate it. I,m switching to a different search engine. It looks terrible and works poorly on my iPad!

August 8, 2011 at 6:56 am
(34) DTS says:

The new Google screen size is crap…..go back to the old one

August 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm
(35) blip says:

Bye bye Google… the new layout is useless!

August 9, 2011 at 6:08 am
(36) Melike Not says:

Looks like google forgot why people use search engine. To see the results of a search. seriously, where are my results on my iPad. I see only three items in a vast empty space, where nobody can hear me screaming…

Nearby shops… Great idea in a world of online shops. Maybe in the future they will show me a nearby library too to look for information.

August 9, 2011 at 10:50 am
(37) Kat says:

Is there any way to switch back to the old format in settings?

August 11, 2011 at 7:39 pm
(38) Daveyboy says:

It’s amazing that across the blogosphere there are self appointed technical guru after technical guru all talking about this new google mobile results screen like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Then under the comments fields there are tens if not hundreds of iPad users (like me) screaming in rage that a bunch of people at google have implemented a so-called improvement that a three year old could see was a bunch of steaming doo-doo. Google will soon have zero users in the fairly large iPad community. Even if they fix this their ‘do no evil’ reputation is looking severely tarnished. As is the reputation of every technical reviewer who blandly took the google press release and drank the kook aid and trumpeted how brilliant it was.

Put it back how it was google

August 13, 2011 at 6:54 am
(39) Alan Terbin says:

I too hated this for a long time, thankfully I found a way to avoid the stupid “mobile” look for ipad and have moved search to bing, works perfect!

You do know of course that google know about this and are probably doing it on purpose to degrade the search experience and overall feel for ipad users to help their push on android.

August 15, 2011 at 9:25 am
(40) Milly says:

I beyond hate it- livid

August 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm
(41) lj says:

the new layout is horrible. give users a choice to switch to “classic”

August 19, 2011 at 8:14 am
(42) Jim says:

I too hate this, no more zoom. I think Bing may be a possible solution. Too bad, I liked google. I hope they fix this.

January 28, 2012 at 1:42 am
(43) Mike says:

New design sucks flaming red bugs! Insanely wasteful of screen real estate and consequently my time. And I don’t need a freakin’ extra menu bar for other crap I don’t use. The arrogance of Google is soaring to new heights. Jealous of Farcebuch I guess.

I will say that after trying it as an alternate to GOOG on iPad, Microsoft has risen to the challenge of making something worse: Bing on iPad.

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