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May 31, 2011

Google Tests a New Mobile Navigation Bar

Some Google users spotted an experimental interface for Google's mobile search site. The horizontal navigation bar now includes icons, just like the vertical desktop bar. While the new interface is less streamlined, it looks more like a Web app and it makes it easier to select a different search service or a Google app.

{ Thanks, Andrew and David. }


  1. I love this UI and I hope Google officially rolls it out. For mobile search, it's more touch-screen friendly, and the icons actually help speed up navigation with a more visible toolbar.

  2. @gos: Thanks for the mention! :)

    @Anonymous (1): I get this interface on my iPod touch, the URL is simply or

  3. Thanks david for the screenshots. :)

  4. Just to let you know that on the android phone at least the interface is not less streamlined because when it loads the page it does not show the icon pictures only the text, it's only when you scroll that you will see the icons. Clever google really


  5. Good move but why have the same links on top and on the left margin? That´s one thing I also hate on the desktop version.

    Google doesn't know how to do good web design. They have great services but the design is so bad that it is laughable.

    Great services:
    News = Too cluttered and not easy on the eyes.

    Calender = They could tweak the design a little bit to make it more appeling.

    Documents = Nothing to complain about. Could impliment expert templates and more viewing options.

    Picasa web albums = Too cluttered and it is hard to find features like viewing and sharing images.

    Google Reader = Just boring design. They doesn´t understand reading habits. I suggest text variation with different text sizes and images, grouping of similar posts etc.

    Google Wave = They were so close to what people would actually like. The problem was that they didn´t know how to implement easy access to all the features.

    Chrome OS = Simple design for the purpose but you could just do with 10-20 more little nip and tucks around the system like folders, background wallpapers, improved chat experience, widgets on the desktop (yellow stickies, adress book, calculator).

    Google Groups = Very poor design. A service that is not very widespread among users. They should just kill it among with Buzz, Reader & News and instead bake in these services into a future social project.

  6. Anonymous said.May 31, 2011 11:16 AM

    I been wondering about the same thing, why they have design the page with the same button into two locations.

    I think the main reason is because google still expect people go to the homepage, where there is no left hand column.

    Google groups I do not see going anytime soon as they use the services as a way to interact with users across all it products.

    "Google Wave = They were so close to what people would actually like. The problem was that they didn´t know how to implement easy access to all the features."

    Completely agree. I think Wave was a project where Google got bored with it, they got a tendency to get bored with products that are not instant successes.

    I think all Wave needed was time to mature and a lot of integration into google other products.
    Perhaps Google mistake here was sending the team out to Australia, tell them to come back when they built something cool. The problem was they build something which to isolated from the rest of Google Services.
    I also think if Wave came out a year later it may of succeeded, with the above problems solved. They should of kept this service under radar instead of a big public launch.

  7. In the near future I will buy a new computer. I am thinking about two models; a iMac or a device running Chrome OS. Today the option is the iMac because I don't believe Google have any intention to transform their services to something better that is user friendly.

    I believe Google see Chrome OS as a operating system only for netbooks. I dont have any intention of buying a low powered netbook that is running this version of Chrome OS. I would however buy a desktop/laptop computer that has some power and is running a more complete version of Chrome OS.

    Google made the wrong decision here! I would love an operating system that launches within à couple of seconds and have the features that I wrote about in my first comment. I would even be prepared to pay 800-900 dollars if it had the hardware like the imac.

    However they need to improve the software of their services. Maybe a way is addons that cost money like hipstamatic on iOS. That could be expert templates in Google docs or image effects in Picnik. When à company focus on earning money, they build software worth paying for.

  8. They should either let us customize the set of icons/services that get displayed, or personalize it based on our usage patterns.

    I'm tired of having a bunch of services that I never use right at my finger-tips, but having to through extra steps to get to the services that I use.

  9. Google is stuck in the year of 2001. I would bet that Apple is working on a YouTube / iTV device that has new built in ad-formats for advertisers. This device will run applications, photos, videos, music, movies and tv-shows.

    Right now the two companies are neck and neck. When Apple has their own mapping solution in play they will focus on search and video. Right now that is impossible because they are dependent on Google in maps and video.

    This will come in 2012-2013.

  10. I want to add google reader icon to navigation bar and delete news icon. On the android mobile. How can I do this?


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