Google Instant Search Gets Mobile Makeover


As if the ability to search Google from a smartphone wasn't immediate enough, Google has rolled out its Google Instant search capabilities to Google Android devices and the Apple iPhone.

Google Instant displays predictive and real-time search results as a user types in a search query, and those results change as more keywords are added. The idea, Google has said, is to reduce the time it takes to obtain search results. Making Google Instant mobile will save smartphone and mobile device users time, as web pages on mobile devices are usually slower to load, so immediate search results can shave off precious seconds.

The launch of Google Instant mobile comes on the heels of the September unveiling of the desktop-based Google Instant. Right now, the mobile version is only in beta for the Apple iPhone and Android devices in the U.S. Specifically, Google Instant mobile is available for Android 2.2, or Froyo, devices and iPhones and iPods running iOS 4 in the U.S. in English. Google said support for more devices, languages and countries is coming soon.

Users can try it by going to google.com in their mobile device's browser and tap the Google Instant "Turn on" link beneath the search box.

"Like the desktop version of Google Instant, when you type on your mobile device you'll see predictions of what you might be searching for," Google software engineer Steve Kanefsky wrote on the Google blog. "If you type [anse], for example, you should see [ansel adams] along with other predictions. Results for the first prediction appear automatically, and tapping on the other predictions will display those results. Pressing the enter key or the search button skips the predictions and will display results for exactly what you've typed."

The mobile version of Google Instant leverages a new AJAX and HTML5 implementation that boosts search speeds and updates pages with new results while eliminating the need to load a new page for each search query, Kanefsky said. Google cautioned that Google Instant for mobile works best on 3G and Wi-Fi networks and it can be enabled or disabled without leaving the page; users can just touch the "Turn on" or "Turn off" link.