Searching for images on Google via your iPad (and other tablets) is now easier and faster thanks to the newly implemented image carousel feature. Now when you Google search images, you can tap on any thumbnail to reveal the carousel view, where you can swipe left/right to browse between images. Tap on the url beneath the the image and it’ll take you directly to corresponding website. This feature for the iPad was first seen in the recently updated Google Search app, and it’s certainly a welcome addition to Google’s mobile site for tablets.
Google has finally released the native Gmail app for iOS. No longer will you have to rely on Apple’s own (limited) Mail app or Gmail on mobile Safari. Optimized for the iPhone and iPad, Gmail lets you do many things you’re already accustomed to on the desktop version of the email client. Here’s a partial list of features you can expect:
● Receive notification badges for new messages
● Read your mail with threaded conversations
● Organize your mail by archiving, labeling, starring, deleting, and reporting spam
● Keep track of important messages with priority inbox
● Auto-complete contact names as you type
● Send and receive attachments
● Search through all your mail
As I rely heavily on the Priority Inbox feature on my iMac browser, having it on a native app while on-the-go is fantastic. And the swipe right to view labels functionality ain’t too shabby either. Needless to say, this is a must-download for Gmail users.
Google, Gmail, – Free
Update: Shortly after the Gmail app went live, Google had pulled it from the App Store after discovering a notification breaking bug:
Update: 11/2/11: Earlier today we launched a new Gmail app for iOS. Unfortunately, it contained a bug which broke notifications and caused users to see an error message when first opening the app. We’ve removed the app while we correct the problem, and we’re working to bring you a new version soon. Everyone who’s already installed the app can continue to use it.
Google’s Instant Preview feature, one that provides a quick graphic overview of the user’s search result with highlights of the most relevant sections, is now available on iOS (4.0+).
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—with Instant Previews, you can easily spot pages with the right content without having to navigate back and forth between websites and search results. And when the mobile version of a website is available, we’ll show you a preview of the mobile page.
Here’s how you use it on your iPhone:
To use Instant Previews on your mobile device, do a search on www.google.com and tap on the magnifying glass next to any search result. A side-by-side comparison view of the webpage previews for the first page of search results will appear. When you find a result you like, tap on the preview to go straight to the website. It’s as easy as finding a recipe for poaching an egg.
Among Google’s new features that have been implemented recently on the iOS, this is one of the cooler ones. There’s just something really neat being able to searching the web via visual thumbnails. Check out the video demo after the gap.
Google’s surprisingly accurate translation service, first seen on the iPhone back in 2008 as a web app, is now here as a standalone app for the iDevice. Google Translate accepts voice input for 15 languages, and like the web app, it can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. Even more impressive, you can listen to the translations spoken out loud in 1 of the 23 supported languages. There’s also a handy zoom feature that enlarges the translated text to fit the entire screen. Definitely a useful feature if you’re making your way around a foreign country and in need of directions and what not. As with all Google apps, this one’s free and well worth your while.
Google, Google Translate, 1.9 MB – Free
Google’s Priority Inbox, a handy feature to help you manage a busy and hectic inbox, has now made its way to the iPhone’s HTML5 mobile browser.
Priority Inbox helps combat information overload by automatically identifying your important messages so you can focus on those first.
Now, once you set up Priority Inbox in the desktop version of Gmail, you’ll see Priority Inbox sections when you visit gmail.com from your phone’s browser and click on the ‘Menu’ screen. You’ll also see importance markers in your inbox, so you can quickly identify which messages are important.
Sadly, no support for marking emails as important/unimportant just yet on the iPhone, but it’s still a good start. Google’s webmail app has consistently been improved over the past year and this is one more reason for iOS users to use it instead of Apple’s default mail app. And for those of you who are unfamiliar with Priority Inbox, check out the informative video explaining the service below.
Google has implemented a neat little weather widget to their mobile search pages and it’s actually good enough that I can see people using it rather than dedicated weather apps (at the very least, replacing the default one on iOS). From the Google Team:
We’d been wanting to build a fun, useful, app-like way to display weather information on our search results pages in the mobile browser. So we pulled together a user experience designer and team of engineers and built a new weather search results snippet that lets you actually play with the results. To try it out, just go to google.com on your iPhone or Android-powered device and search for ‘weather’.
Once you search for “weather” on google.com with Mobile Safari (or any other 3rd party browser on iDevice), you can use the “My Location” feature or manually enter the city. The unique aspect of this new widget is that users can move the slider over the next 12 hours to see the change in weather conditions. If you do wish to start making use of this new feature, you can add this search page to your home screen (as an app icon) for quick access. To do this, tap on the action arrow icon in Safari (a ‘+’ sign on pre-iOS 4.2) and select “Add to Home Screen”. Now every time you tap on this “web app”, the browser will open up to your location’s weather. As well, you can create a “Weather” folder in your mobile Safari bookmarks and add different cities you wish to keep track of.
[via Google Mobile Blog]
Fresh off the recent update of their visual search tool Google Goggles, Google has released what promises to be an extremely handy tool while on the go – Google Places. Similar to apps like Yelp and AroundMe, Places allows users to easily find attractions, restaurants and more based on their location.
Google Places with Hotpot helps you discover nearby places you’ll love. Quickly search for Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and other places, while on the go.
Google Places also makes it easy to quickly rate the places you visit. By rating places, you power Hotpot — Google’s new personalized recommendation engine, which lets you get place recommendations based on the places you like and recommendations from your friends.
To make the most of the app, you can visit also google.com/hotpot from your computer and begin adding friends. Subsequently, the search results will not only be based off of recommendations from around the web and your personal preferences, but also what your friends have recommended. Check out Google Places now for free for your iPhone/iPod Touch.
Google, Google Places, Size: 6.9 MB – Free
Google Goggles, a neat visual search tool that first made its way into the Google Mobile App last October, has just received some nifty upgrades. Firstly, pointing your iDevice camera at US print advertisements (those from August 2010 onward) will display more info about that product/service online. Secondly, GG will now help Sudoku fiends solve the puzzle at hand with the help of the onboard camera:
Our favorite weekend distraction is a quiet 15 minutes spent solving a Sudoku puzzle. But even that can be an frustrating experience if (like us) you make a mistake and are unable to solve the puzzle. Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution. Check out this video to see how it works.
The Google Mobile App is free to download and those who enjoy attacking a Sudoku here and there should definitely give this new feature a try. Check out Google’s demo video below.
Google Mobile, Google Mobile App, 8.6 MB – Free
Google Latitude, the app that lets you see where are friends and family are in real time, is now finally back in the App Store after it was approved but quickly pulled a week ago. Running on iOS 4.0 or later and newer iDevices (iPhone 3GS+, iPod Touch 3rd Gen+ and iPad), the app resides in the background to share users’ location, which is then displayed on a map.
With Latitude, you can:
* See your friends on a map – find out who’s nearby and meet up.
* Share your location continuously with whomever you choose – help friends and family stay in touch with you, even when you can’t take out your phone.
* Control your privacy – share only city-level location, hide your location, or turn off background updating at any time.
And like many Google services, you can also use Latitude on your computer by going to google.com/latitude for all the same essential features. If you like the idea of being able to
stalk keep track of your friends’ whereabouts, download this free app now for your iPhone.
Google, Google Latitude, 2.9 MB – Free
Google announced earlier today that desktop version their popular Google Docs editor is now accessible on the iPad.
The new mobile editor is fast and lightweight, but sometimes you want to make more style edits like changing a font, or center aligning a paragraph. If you’re on an iPad, you can do that by visiting the Desktop version of the document editor.
If you want to insert formulas in a Google spreadsheet from your iPad, you can use the same trick. Just click Go to spreadsheet view at the top of the mobile view to try out the full version of Google spreadsheets. You can now insert formulas in from the editable formula bar.
As good as it sounds though for hardcore users, desktop mode on the iPad isn’t nearly as easy to use compared to its mobile editing counterpart, which was introduced earlier last month. At the moment, it seems a bit buggy and slow to do most tasks, and as such, should probably be saved for times when you need to visually tweak your Spreadsheet docs with colors and formatting.