Google Mobile App for iPhone review

This free program is a unified tool that searches your address book, websites, and businesses near your current location simultaneously. Google has become so good at searches that it anticipates what you’re looking for. Once you start typing, suggestions appear as a vertical list or as common search terms along the bottom of the screen. It’s a helpful, time-saving function. Pressing a website link takes you directly to the web page via Safari, while tapping the search term brings up Google’s search results page.

Most impressive is the way Google Mobile App takes advantage of the iPhone’s location-detection feature to search for nearby businesses. Type ‘petrol station’, for example, and among the web page search results you’ll see an option for “search… near me”. Tap the link and Google instantly launches iPhone’s Maps application. All the petrol stations in your area will appear as pins on the map.

But Google’s other services – accessed via the Explore More Google Products option – leave plenty to be desired on the iPhone. There’s a mobile version of Gmail, but unless you’re routing mail to the iPhone’s mailbox, you may find it inconvenient to access your Gmail through the clumsy and cumbersome mobile interface. A simple ‘reply’ button would save time and aggravation.

And don’t even think about using Blogger from your iPhone, unless you text-message your updates, which involves emailing Blogger and receiving a special ‘claim token’. (WordPress and TypePad offer free apps that let users post or upload pictures or other files in a matter of seconds.) It’s best to stick with the searches for now.

OUR VERDICT

Google Mobile App is well worth adding to your iPhone. The addition of other Google services would be welcome, but it's still worth having around even if it's just for the search function.

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