Google Instant Goes Mobile on Android, iPhone
Google Nov. 4 brought its Instant predictive search technology to Apple's iPhone and smartphones based on Google's Android operating system.
Google Instant guesses users' queries as they begin to type them. The technology, which aims to save the average searcher 2 to 5 seconds per search, has analysts predicting Google can bolster its already considerable search revenues.
The company launched Instant in September with the promise to bring the technology to the company's mobile search application for smartphones in the fall.
That promise has been met in the form of a beta version of Google Instant for mobile that runs on handsets running Android 2.2 and on iPhones and iPods running iOS 4 in the United States in English. Google will support additional countries and languages and more devices.
iPhone 4 owners or users of Android devices such as the Motorola Droid X, Droid 2, HTC Evo 4G and HTC Droid Incredible can go to google.com in their phone's browser and tap the Google Instant "Turn on" link beneath the search box.
When users begin to type in Google.com, the search box snaps to the top of their screen.
As users type, they will see gray text in the search box, signaling a dynamic prediction of what a user is searching for. There is no need to tap the search button or the enter key. This is the same process as it is for Google Instant on the desktop.
Results for the first prediction appear automatically; tapping on the other predictions will display those results. Users can easily control Instant on their mobile device by tapping the "Turn on" or "Turn off" link.
To do this, Google had to build a new AJAX and HTML5 process for mobile that "dynamically updates the page with new results and eliminates the need to load a new page for each query," Google software engineer Steve Kanefsky said in a corporate blog post.
Google Instant for mobile comes more than two weeks after Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's senior vice president for product management, said it was coming on the company's third-quarter earnings call.
Rosenberg also cast aside the notion that Instant was designed to help Google boost its search revenue streams, adding that "from a resource standpoint, it's actually pretty expensive."
A company spokesperson confirmed that Google had purchased additional computer servers to deliver the results, but declined to say what the cost was to not only build Instant but to keep it pumping out queries in such a rapid fashion.