Google Search iPhone app gets facelift, new features, full-screen image search

Google just pushed out a major update to its iPhone search app, bringing out a completely reworked interface and several new features, including beautiful full-screen image search, faster autocompletion and searching, the new in-line search option (finally!),  the redesigned home screen with services shortcuts, handy tabs to filter down your search results and what not…

The search Goliath announced the new version via a blog post, saying it gives you “a simple way to access all your Google apps in one place”.

Indeed, Google Search 2.0 on the iPhone/iPod touch borrows a new start screen with rows of shortcuts to popular services (Docs, Gmail, YouTube and so forth) that we first spotted in the iPad version last year. The “On my iPhone” tab at the bottom lists only the apps installed on your device.

The program feels substantially optimized with search in mind, unlike past versions I hardly used at all. The first thing you’ll notice is just how nimbler everything feels. Search is faster, autocompletion is markedly zippier, the interface is more responsive and just about everything is snappier than before.

The new handy magnifying glass on the bottom menu option on any page lets you finally search in-line.

Another tweak you’ll love: it automatically hides controls when scrolling through your search results. You can also easily switch between search modes using the swipeable menu at the bottom and swipe the slide-in panel to return to your search results at any time.

Full-screen image search, one of the headline new features, allows you to tap an image to get details, quickly swipe from image to image and tap and hold to save an image to your camera roll.

It really looks gorgeous.

Here, take a look.

And another one.

Your release notes:

New on iPhone
• complete redesign
• major speed improvements
• auto full screen: scroll down to hide controls, scroll up to reveal
• beautiful full-screen image search
• swipe away webpages to quickly return to search results
• search within a webpage using the built-in text finder
• easily switch between images, places, news, and more
• fast access to Google apps like Gmail, Calendar, Docs and more all from one place

New on iPad and iPhone
• save images to your camera roll

My only gripe with this new version is the awkward iPad interface that has remained unchanged: it still feels like a blown up smartphone app rather than being completely tailored to the tablet’s 9.7-inch canvas.

I guess Google didn’t have time to optimize both the iPad and iPhone/iPod touch code simultaneously.

Google Search app version 2.0 is a free download right from the App Store.

Let us know your impressions down in the comments.