Google Updates iOS Search App, MSN Rolls Out Verticals For iOS, Android
Both Microsoft and Google efforts directed at rival mobile platforms.
Google has updated its iOS search app in accordance with its new “material design” aesthetic and functionality, now making its debut in Lollipop (Android 5.0). The Lollipop-inspired material design UI is generally speaking an upgrade over the previous version of the app.
The new search app incorporates the Lollipop vertical card carousel of mobile web pages, making it easy to get back to mobile sites recently visited. There’s also a new “recently” button in the upper right that takes users to the carousel view. Once there, tapping the Google logo at the bottom of the page brings users to the main search screen to ask another question.
Google has also incorporated Google Maps into the search app:
[Y]ou can now search Google Maps within the Google app! Now, whenever you search for a place—whether it’s a tree farm or a restaurant after a long day of shopping—you’ll see a map right there with the results. You can get a quick sense of where you’re headed, or even explore Street View if you want to take a closer look. When you’re ready to get going, your trusted Google Maps app will be waiting a tap away with directions.
All of this is closely tied in with Google Now and its various time-sensitive and contextual reminders.
Meanwhile in other app news, Microsoft announced a range of new MSN branded apps for iOS, Android and Amazon (Amazoid?) in 56 markets around the world. MSN’s PC-based portal content is broken into a number of verticals: “Sports, Finance, News, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink, and Weather.”These apps were already available for Microsoft’s own devices and platforms.
We probably would not have seen this kind of expansion of Microsoft content into iOS and Android under previous CEO Steve Ballmer. However gaining and maintaining app usage and mindshare is becoming increasingly important as usage migrates to mobile.
Mobile search is threatening to surpass PC based search query volume; and eMarketer has forecast (based on third party data) that mobile search revenues (PPC + SEO) could exceed those on the PC next year.