Google Search for iPad/iPhone adds Chrome OS features (hands on)

Google has updated its iPad search app to add a big part of Chrome OS, right under Apple's nose.

Google may have its own mobile OS, and soon its own handset company, but surprisingly it has updated its iOS search app to mimic Chrome OS in great detail. The new version is an update to Google Search, or install it from the App Store. Once installed it appears on your iPad/iPhone home screen as simply "Google". That is telling when you first launch it and find something that looks surprisingly like Chrome OS.

I think Google snuck this in under Apple's nose by making it an update of the original search app. I can't believe Apple would be happy with this app that becomes not only a wrapper for all Google apps and services, but in a way that entices the user to just stay in this app. There are tabs that can be dragged to the desired size on the screen, and easy touch navigation to jump from one Google app to another.

The Google app fires up with a simple application launcher that includes 16 apps on two pages. At the top of the homescreen is the expected search box, that supports voice quite well. There is a simple app settings screen to configure things to your liking.

I have been using this app for a while and I am impressed with its speed. Things happen very fast, and far more smoothly than similar functions on Google's Android platform. All of Google's main apps are included and Gmail may be the big draw for most. This app is far better than the pathetic iOS app Google recently released. It looks good, and more importantly runs so fast to make using it a joy.

The only app I have tried that is wanting is the Calendar app, which has a lousy display. It works fine, just doesn't provide much helpful information on the main screen.

Google has upped its game on the iPad, and this app may end up being one of the most popular on that device. It is a great wrapper for all things Google, and lightning fast to use. It makes Google apps almost fun.

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