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September 30, 2013

Google Mobile Image Search Regression

Google has a great mobile interface for image search. It was launched in 2010 and improved multiple times since then. You can use swipes to go to the next image result or to the previous one. It looks like Google changed the image search UI for smartphones and tablets and now sends you to a landing page that shows the image and loads the corresponding page in the background. Intuitive gestures are gone and now you have to use the back button.

This seems to be limited to iPhones and iPads running iOS 7, so it's probably a bug. A lot of people complain about this in the Google Search Forum.

There are many reasons why the new interface is strange: loading the associated page uses more bandwidth and that's not a good idea for mobile devices, it's more difficult to check multiple search results, thumbnails are smaller and even the desktop interface shows a bigger image instead of sending users to a new page.

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