Mobile launch for Google Instant Previews
A new feature has been introduced by Google to help iPhone and Android users search the web more efficiently.
Google Instant Previews, which launched on mobiles this week, offers visual snapshots of web pages without having to leave the search engine results page. Users simply perform a Google mobile search as normal, then click on the magnifying glass on the right-hand-side to get an idea of how the page will appear. They can browse different pages by pressing the direction arrows or touching the screen, or they can enter the current page by selecting the screenshot.
First desktop, now mobile
Desktop users have been able to view Google Instant Previews for some time, but this is a first for mobile users. It is compatible with Android 2.2 upwards and iOS 4.0 upwards, and can be accessed in 38 languages.
Google hopes the new service will have a range of applications. Brian Ngo, software engineer on the Google mobile search team, explained: "If you're looking for a webpage that has both photos and descriptions, you can use Instant Previews to quickly identify these pages by navigating across the visual search results with a few swipes of your finger. Or perhaps you're looking for an article, a step-by-step instructions list, or a product comparison chart."
Mobile has become a key component of Google's expansion plans. Last month, outgoing Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt told the Internet Advertising Bureau's Annual Leadership meeting that mobile uptake is outpacing Google's internal growth projections.