Google recently posted an entry to their “Official Google Mobile Blog” detailing the new features in their updated version of the Google Search app. For some strange reason they pulled the post, but luckily for us it was cached by our RSS reader. See the screenshot below for the full text. Anyway, here’s what’s new: A) Search results are now grouped by type, so web URLs are on top, followed by locations, whatever information is on your phone, etc. We’re assuming you’ll be able to configure the order of said results. B) Should you find yourself embarrassed by one of your recent searches, a simple long press will give you an option to delete it. For those of us who share our smartphones with our friends and significant others, this is flat out amazing. C) The user interface has been overhauled and now appears to be cleaner. It’s also been optimized for speed, so it’s more responsive.
We’ve got to wonder though, between the search widget on the home screen of most Android smartphones, and the simple shortcut to the web browser that most people have on the first page of their homescreen, why would you even use the Google Search app? On the iPhone it makes sense since iOS lacks native speech to text, but on Android … Google’s search engine is baked into the operating system to such a degree that the need for a dedicated application seems like a waste of programming talent that could otherwise be spent on making Android more consistent and easier to use.
Then again with smartphones you’re encouraged to use it in whatever way you find most efficient, so if there’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they saying goes, then it’ll only make Android more appealing to an ever growing use base.