A long time ago, we had the Google Mobile App. Then we just kind of gave up on it and deleted it. It didn’t do anything particularly useful, and was no better than launching Mobile Safari for searches. The voice feature was nice, but launching the app and trying to use the command usually took longer than launching the browser and just searching manually (‘We’ does not necessarily represent all iSmashPhone staffers).
The new Google Search app is as huge improvement over that, and we may actually keep it. First, it feels much more responsive, especially on the slow old iPhone 3G. Upon launching, you get your Google search bar and you can type or hit the microphone icon to speak a search term. What’s awesome is that Google’s voice recognition is very accurate.
Everything about the interface finally seems as if was developed with the iPhone in mind. For instance, a swipe will bring up search categories such as Everything, Places, Images, News, etc. If you want to use a different Google application, simply swipe up and you get Gmail, Calendar, Docs and various other Google Apps at your fingertips.
The App finally feels useable. This is especially the case on a slower handset like the iPhone 3G, where simple tasks like the voice search used to be unbearable to the point where it was just better to quit the app and launch Mobile Safari. There are also lots of improvements in the UI. As we mentioned before, we tried this one out and deleted it after a week or so, because we had no use for it.
It still isn’t all that much more useful than using Safari. It’s nice that it lets you use lots of Google’s Apps directly from within this application, but even then it kept launching our Mobile Safari browser when we tried to use one of those Apps. When that happens, you wonder “what’s the point?”
The application is a huge improvement over the previous versions. It’s faster, and better-suited for the iPhone. Still, you may find yourself going back to Safari out of habit or because this doesn’t offer much that the browser can’t already do.
3 out of 5
Google Search Free on App Store – Link