Google's search app just got a big update on the iPad. The interface has been overhauled, and the app has added enough new features that it's finally replaced Mobile Safari's built-in search feature as my go-to source for internet info.
The differences in the interface may seem subtle at first, but Google has added many powerful new features in this latest update. The app now supports Google Instant, making searches faster than ever before, but it also offers Instant Preview, a means of visually browsing through search results in a carousel-style interface without having to fully load the page.
Search results appear in a slide-in pane from the right side of the screen; in landscape view this pane can be partially pinned to the right side, giving you a preview of pages as they load when you tap on search results in the main window. Using a similar interface to Instant Preview, search history now presents you with a visual representation of your search history, very much like the way History view works in Safari on the Mac.
Google has made access to other Google services like Google+ and Gmail easier than before, and it must have done some back-end optimization on the app as well, because it seems to be loading search results and web pages much faster than before.
Before this update, I honestly never found Google's app all that useful on my iPad. With these new features, Google's search app is now in my iPad's dock. It's a great update and a powerful tool for searching the web on the iPad. A video showing off some of the app's new features is embedded below.