Google Search app for the iPhone gets a facelift, still remains rather useless for most people

Google’s released an update to their “Google Search” application for the iPhone, and while it’s prettier than the last version, it’s still a bit … how should I put this, rather useless for most people. Sure, all the cool features that Google has been cooking up in their labs are in there. For example you can simply hit a button and speak your search versus having to manually type it out. There’s also Google Goggles that will let you snap a photo and then it’ll return search results based on what it thinks you’re trying to find. That being said, nothing beats clicking the browser button and just using the plain jane mobile version of Google’s website. It’s not as pretty as this latest application, but it gets the job done, and it’s faster than having to click on your home button and swipe to the page that has Google’s pretty little blue icon.

The most interesting feature of the new app is the ability to swipe to the right and then drill down to a specific type of search. Say you want to look at images, just swipe, click image search, and boom. Same goes for places, Twitter updates, and various other categories. The reason we think this feature is interesting is because it’s an obvious rip off of Mozilla’s Firefox for Mobile browser. Mozilla uses the same type of swipe gestures to give users better access to various parts of the browser, including tabs. Is this redesigned iPhone app giving us a hint as to how the next version of Google’s browser is going to look like on Android devices? Are they going to make their HTML5 website this fancy so that anyone with a modern smartphone can get the same type of UI bling?

It’s something to think about as 2011 promises to bring us the next version of iOS and the next version of Android.

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