Google experimenting with new mobile layout

Google has begun rolling out an update to their mobile platforms. The new interface refresh comes with additional options, making it easier to get to Google apps, such as YouTube, Gmail and others, much more accessible.

The interface refresh now has a dedicated search panel with Google News, video, finance, maps, iGoogle, books, YouTube and even blogs search. The easier to use menu helps filter down your search for videos or blogs with some colourful icons.

Google also has a new apps panel with some bright icons to easily find what you're looking for. The apps panel comes loaded with all the top Google-related web apps and websites including Gmail, Photos (Picasa), YouTube, Reader, Calendar, Docs, Talk (Google Talk), Maps, News, Tasks, Translate and Books.

The UI update also comes with an expandable menu option, similar to the full version of Google.com, that allows you to search for different sizes of images, videos, news, discussions and more. The mobile version now has the same search tweaks and filters as the full version of Google does.

So far, the update only brings the new navigation menu to Google web search and News.

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28 Comments

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so in spite of the cramped displays on mobile phones, google still thinks it's an excellent idea to have perpetual icons taking up some valuable screen real estate? interesting.

Tola1005 said,
so in spite of the cramped displays on mobile phones, google still thinks it's an excellent idea to have perpetual icons taking up some valuable screen real estate? interesting.

Makes it easier to press them.

Oh, i like the idea with the big buttons. Makes it easy to navigate using a touch device.

I'm my opinion google is doing extremely well at developing smart mobile solutions at the moment:)

keep up the good work reporting neowin. I like it

+1

Martin_Hell said,
Oh, i like the idea with the big buttons. Makes it easy to navigate using a touch device.

I'm my opinion google is doing extremely well at developing smart mobile solutions at the moment:)

keep up the good work reporting neowin. I like it

+1


+1

Martin_Hell said,
Oh, i like the idea with the big buttons. Makes it easy to navigate using a touch device.

I'm my opinion google is doing extremely well at developing smart mobile solutions at the moment:)

keep up the good work reporting neowin. I like it

+1


I also like what I'm seeing here. I also like this vibrant but still simple icon style. I hope it's the start of more to come, also for Google's regular services.

I've installed a few "apps" on Chrome and they just seem like links to websites to me. Can anybody explain if they're supposed to be anything else?

Examinus said,
I've installed a few "apps" on Chrome and they just seem like links to websites to me. Can anybody explain if they're supposed to be anything else?

On a normal google chrome they seem like short cuts but they will be more useful on chromebooks and chromeOS google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=1050586

hackson said,

On a normal google chrome they seem like short cuts but they will be more useful on chromebooks and chromeOS google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=1050586


How are apps different from websites?

Some apps are hosted online like regular websites. Therefore, some app icons on your New Tab page may simply take you to their corresponding websites (e.g. see the Gmail app).

Other apps are websites that have been specifically developed for use within Google Chrome and may contain features that are not found on their regular websites (e.g. see The New York Times app).

Last but not least, some apps rely on certain Google Chrome features and therefore can only be used within Google Chrome (e.g. see the Scratchpad app).

Seriously?

Examinus said,
I've installed a few "apps" on Chrome and they just seem like links to websites to me. Can anybody explain if they're supposed to be anything else?

Be specific? Tweet Deck and Angry Birds are full on apps for example. But Gmail and YouTube are shortcuts.

hackson said,
On a normal google chrome they seem like short cuts but they will be more useful on chromebooks and chromeOS google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=1050586

Google
Some apps are hosted online like regular websites. Therefore, some app icons on your New Tab page may simply take you to their corresponding websites (e.g. see the Gmail app).

I see reading is not a requirement to post on this site. Lets post a link and say what we think it says.

Sorry to tell you this, but app links are just links. Nothing more nothing less. Even on Chromebooks.

FAIL!

Personally I think Google has the most terrible design when it comes to just about every product they ever released. Most specifically their internet pages and desktop applications. Can't say I'm a big fan of the stock Android interface either.

.Neo said,
Personally I think Google has the most terrible design when it comes to just about every product they ever released. Most specifically their internet pages and desktop applications. Can't say I'm a big fan of the stock Android interface either.

I couldn't agree more. For being such a "cool" company they are, they sure as have terrible designers. At least when it comes to prettiness, I suppose their UX is decent.

Jub Fequois said,

I couldn't agree more. For being such a "cool" company they are, they sure as have terrible designers. At least when it comes to prettiness, I suppose their UX is decent.

I think you're confusing Google with Apple there, it's apple with the obsession about being "cool"

I think most people liked the Google home page since it was so minimalistic. I guess they take it into consideration for each of their product releases. Personally I prefer it.

.Neo said,
Personally I think Google has the most terrible design when it comes to just about every product they ever released. Most specifically their internet pages and desktop applications. Can't say I'm a big fan of the stock Android interface either.

Can you elaborate? They have two major desktop apps; Chrome and Picasa. Chrome has influenced every subsequent browser and I think the layout of Picasa is a lot better than Live Gallery.

Jub Fequois said,

I couldn't agree more. For being such a "cool" company they are, they sure as have terrible designers. At least when it comes to prettiness, I suppose their UX is decent.


An article posted here on Neowin a while back stated that some interface designers actually quit their job at Google because they were given just about zero freedom. Basically they had to go with purely functional without any sugarcoating, which is basically what we always see with Google products: It works, but it ain't very pretty.

Edited by .Neo, May 31 2011, 12:32am :

.Neo said,
Personally I think Google has the most terrible design when it comes to just about every product they ever released. Most specifically their internet pages and desktop applications. Can't say I'm a big fan of the stock Android interface either.

You ever hear of KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Google follows that "belief". The website and Android OS can be "dressed" up to your preference. If you want the Google page to be as ugly as Bing, you can do that. If you want a different launcher for Android you can do that. They even have the ugly WP7 tile look if your heart so desires.

Google gives you a choice. I'm not sure if you knew that.

UndergroundWire said,

You ever hear of KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Google follows that "belief". The website and Android OS can be "dressed" up to your preference. If you want the Google page to be as ugly as Bing, you can do that. If you want a different launcher for Android you can do that. They even have the ugly WP7 tile look if your heart so desires.

Google gives you a choice. I'm not sure if you knew that.

I agree;
In the case of Android for example, Google gives you freedom to install a custom theme over it if you wish. Fair enough none of the current themes on the market at the moment are up to scratch with the visual appeal of many iOS aspects, but that's just because no one has spent the time to make one i suppose
Maybe one day....

dangad999 said,
I like it. Can see that android design has found its way into the app. - not a bad thing

Really? Nothing seems Android'y to me from those screenshots.

andrew_f said,

Really? Nothing seems Android'y to me from those screenshots.

Yeah. If anything there are more iOS influences than Android influences.

dangad999 said,
I like it. Can see that android design has found its way into the app. - not a bad thing

Which version of Android are you running?

geoken said,

Yeah. If anything there are more iOS influences than Android influences.

Sorry to burst your bubble but Apple doesn't own any patents on icons four per row. It's meant to look like any of the popular mobile OS you use. I see BlackBerry, Android, and iOS.

They didn't go with a disgusting tile look of WP7 so that's a plus.

I can see that it was designed in accordance with Android dashboard UI design guidelines. It may not be an Android unique design concept, but it's definitely one that they've adopted and brought to their own applications, and now to their mobile web layout.
I like the fact that they are trying to develop some consistency across the platform, which i'm guessing is what they were doing...