Google Mobile iPhone App Review – 6 Months Later

September 29, 2009

With Apple, iPhone, iPod and Google all being in the top 10 of the planet’s coolest brands according to the most recent CoolBrands report, you’re excused for thinking that an App that bring these together would be unbeatable. Unfortunately it’s just not very exciting at all, not even six months after its initial release.

The Google iPhone App's Map rendering doesn't impress

The Google iPhone App's Map rendering doesn't impress

So what does the Google Mobile iPhone App bring to the table, that you can’t already achieve through mobile Safari or Google maps? Basically the only new feature is that you can search by using your voice (as long as you speak English) which is undeniably a bit cool until the novelty wears off. But other than that, there’s not much point of downloading the Google iPhone App.

I tested out the regular search functionality to do a local search on the go, and was surprised by the very poor quality map it produced, and on top of that in order to get proper GPS integration and directions I had to open up the separate iPhone App Google Maps, leaving the native Google App. Not a great user experience.

To make this App useful I like to see it fully integrated with more Google services, e.g. Google maps to open up within the same App, a rich(er) editor for Google Docs, chat through Talk, rss in Reader, access to Notebook etc…  Today it is merely an additional layer on top of the search engine with voice controls and a list of links.

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