After a small delay, Google released their new and improved Google Mobile for iPhone app yesterday. We gave you our one-word review, but now it's time for a closer look at Google's impressive new voice recognition search app—the one that's going to make typing to search on your phone a thing of the past.
How It Works
How It Really Works
The videos above certainly make the search-by-voice Google Mobile seem incredible, but anything can look good in a video. The real test is how it works in practice.
Lucky for us, the voice-recognition capabilities are uncannily good. I won't say you'll never get a bum match—see, for example, how TechCrunch's Michael Arrington's search for "How big is a giant squid?" was interpreted as "public citizen times square", or alternately, how my initial voice search for "Lifehacker" was interpreted as "Flight Tracker" (my second try worked, for what it's worth). For the most common searches—and even many uncommon searches, for that matter—you may be surprised at just how well it works.
Much to my satisfaction, the search results now appear in an iPhone-optimised format similar to the new mobile Safari layout. That means you'll also get quick access to phone numbers and directions when applicable to your search.
My biggest disappointment is the new Apps tab, which contains links to open any of a handful of Google Apps, still has to launch mobile Safari rather than opening the apps directly inside the Google Mobile app, so it's still not the one-stop Google shop that it could be. (Apparently there are limitations placed on what an application-embedded browser can do versus what mobile Safari can do.)
Now that you've had the chance to play with it for a day, let's hear what you think of the new Google Mobile app in the comments.