Google Instant Brings Search As You Type To The iPhone. It’s Opt-Out And Pretty Hard To See
While the feature hit some Android devices about a week ago, today it has arrived for the iPhone as well. I’ve just loaded up google.com on my device and sure enough, right below the search box and location indicator, there’s an “Instant (beta) is on: Turn off” message. It’s sort of interesting that the feature is opt-out, even on mobile. Though I have to assume that if your connection is slow, they’ll revert to regular Google search just as they do in the browser itself.
So how does it work? Similar to it does in a regular web browser, but it’s a bit odd since the drop-down search suggestions take up a lot of screen real estate and so does the on-screen keyboard. You can still see the results being populated as you type, but barely (see below).
The other mildly annoying thing about Instant on the iPhone is that it once again is google.com-only (this was my main complaint about the desktop version as well, but they’re currently rolling it out baked into Chrome’s Omnibox). For most of my searches on the device, I use the Google search box built into the browser and that doesn’t have Instant. Obviously, even if Google wants to add it there, they’re going to need Apple’s approval. I wouldn’t hold my breath for that.