Google tunes search for iPhone display

The revamped results fit better on the phone's display and make phone numbers easier to press. But it's not integrated with the iPhone.

The new Google search page on the iPhone packages content better.
The new Google search page on the iPhone packages content better. Stephen Shankland/CNET News

Google has customized its search results for the iPhone's display, getting around some awkward presentation issues.

"Results are formatted to be neatly displayed on the mobile screen, so there's no need to scroll side to side. Local search results now include easier-to-press 'Get Directions' and click-to-call links. Maps are shown by default in the case of a single listing or accessible by the 'Show map"' link for multiple listings," said Google mobile team programmers Steve Kanefsky and Rob Stacey in a blog post Tuesday night.

The older look can be retrieved by scrolling to the bottom of the search results page and clicking the "Classic" link, but I much prefer the new look.

The new packaging, however, isn't integrated with the iPhone itself, which has a built-in Google search option accessible via the magnifying glass icon at the top of each Web page. Those results are formatted for a much larger screen, at least on my iPhone. To get the fancy search results, you first must point the browser to www.google.com.

The images below show at left, the older iPhone search interface from a www.google.com search, and at right, the search results from using the Safari built-in search feature.

The old look for a Google search on the iPhone.
The older 'classic' look for a search from www.google.com on the iPhone. Stephen Shankland/CNET News

Using the built-in search icon in iPhone's Safari browser doesn't take advantage of the better formatting.
Using the built-in search icon in iPhone's Safari browser doesn't take advantage of the better formatting. Stephen Shankland/CNET News

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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