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This article was published on March 8, 2011


Google brings instant site previews to mobile search

Google brings instant site previews to mobile search
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Google’s instant site preview thumbnails have divided opinion since they launched last November and now the company has rolled them out to mobile browsers too, albeit in rather pleasingly different way.

On Android (2.2+) and iOS (4.0+) devices, search results now have a small magnifying glass icon next to them. Tap that and a separate screen of preview thumbnails is revealed, allowing you to get a visual idea of the pages you’ll be clicking through to.

Having had a quick play with the new interface, I’ll say that it’s certainly great-looking and fun to use. While not everyone will find it a feature they return to from day-to-day, it’s certainly a valuable addition to Google’s search mobile search tools. This is especially true for people on expensive, metered data contracts where every kilobyte counts (and costs). Having a quick preview before you dive into loading up the site could be very useful indeed.

Here’s Google’s video introducing the new feature.