Google refurbs Android, iPhone image search

Google's mobile team rolled out changes to the way it shows image results when you search from some iPhones and Android phones.

Image results on are now square on some iPhone and Android phones. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Google's mobile development team has had a busy couple days fine-tuning what it likes to call its "iterative mobile Web," a phrase that, in plain English, extends to all the Google sites you can access from some iPhones and Android smartphones.

Earlier, it migrated a better search result for business listings from for the desktop to from the phones. On Wednesday, the team rolled out changes to the way it shows image results when you search from some of those two smartphones.

The redesign's objective is to squeeze more thumbnail images onto the page. To do this, Google has made thumbnails square instead of rectangular.

Swiping left and right keeps the header static while advancing through multiple pages of image results. You can also swipe through individual images if you'd rather view them one at a time.

Interestingly, Google has added an intermediate step for viewing image results. Tapping a photo pulls it up on a black backdrop and briefly flashes options to head back to the results page or to view the full-size image, along with a title and source information. The words fade after a few seconds, but be careful: tap the screen in the wrong place and instead of getting your options once again, you may find yourself directed to the source site.

Google's redone mobile image results are available in 38 languages from on iPhone 3.0 and Android 2.1 smartphones.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.


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