Front page app: Google Search

Google Mobile has been a front page app on my iPhone forever because it allows me to search by voice. Google yesterday updated it and changed is name to Google Search.

One of the features that I miss most switching from Android (while writing my new book) back to iOS is voice search. In Android voice is deeply integrated at the OS level. Anywhere there's a text-entry field, there's a voice button right next to it.

Instead of having to use the keyboard, you can simply touch the little microphone button and speak instead of type. And it's surprisingly good, so much so that I used it for 80% of my text entry on my Droids.

(Apple needs to at least match, if not better, Android's voice support to remain competitive, but that's a rant for another blog post.)

Google Mobile has been a front page app on my iPhone forever because it allows me to search by voice -- filling part of the gap in iOS. Google yesterday updated the free app and changed is name to Google Search (App Store).

The new version is predictably better than the one it replaces, offering a ton of new features:

Swiping from left to right reveals a new toolbar to filter your results to just places, images, news, videos, etc.

Swiping down expands the search bar (allowing you to change settings and log in) and displays an Apps button at the bottom of the screen for easy access to Google's mobile web apps (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, et al.)

Resume is a handy new feature which leaves the app exactly where you left it when you return from home or another app. The last search even persists after you kill the app in the multitasking bar.

Google has also improved other parts of the app: Google Goggles now works with iPod touch and iPhone 3G, Voice Search has more languages, Search with My Location finds things like weather, movies and food near you, and Gmail shows your unread counts in this release.

Google Search has a ton of five-star reviews on the App Store and has long been one of my front page apps.