In an announcement that was posted briefly to its mobile blog but then pulled, Google announced some new features coming to the mobile homepage of Google.com for Android and iOS devices. These include shortcuts that should make it easier to perform local searches as well as a refined version of mobile search.
With more searches happening when people are on the go, we’ve noticed an increase in searches for nearby places. To make it easier for people to search for what’s around them, we’ve introduced new shortcuts to commonly searched local categories, like restaurants, coffee shops and bars, in the form of icons on the mobile google homepage.
This redesign has been mentioned before so it looks like it is just now becoming official.
Once you’ve got your results, you’ll see a map with markers for all of the places around you. The map will stay open at the top of the page as you browse through results, this will give you context for the search results as you browse them, making it easier to see where the results are located.
In addition to the new shortcuts, Google has also announced that you can now build complex searches more easily on the mobile site with suggested phrases that you can use to piece together a search. This was previously available in the Google Search app for Android and iOS but will now be available directly on the mobile site as well.
With Google’s Inside Search event beginning in just minutes it seems that we will hear more about these features. We will update this post with the latest information. Please refresh.
Thanks to Matt Navarra for the screenshot above.