Google’s pace of functional and aesthetic upgrades to mobile products has been swift. Chief among these is search and results pages.
Tied to recent upgrades to online SERPs, Google has integrated filtering tools to the corresponding mobile pages on iPhone and Android devices. These include things like news, products and updates. You can also search for results from a specific date range, as real-time search gains importance and awareness.
As an example, the “product” tab will bring users to additional options that include location and inventory. This is simply new navigation to Google’s ongoing efforts to work with retailers to obtain point of sale inventory data for users to search (an area we’ve been harping on for years).
From the Google Mobile Blog:
When you go to Google.com in the US on your iPhone or Android-powered device, and enter a search, you can now tap on the button to the left of the search box on the results page to see a new search options menu. Then, selecting any item in the menu will refine your search. For example, if you are looking for recent results for “Mother’s day gift”, simply tap the “Past week” option.
Interestingly, this widens the SERP from one pane to two. In other words, filters and category “drill downs” slide the page to the left. The original search results page can be brought back to view by sliding back to the right. This is an big UI step for Google Mobile.
More panes will likely be added to the left and to the right, in the spirit of “universal search,” as users get acclimated to this style of navigation. As it often does, Google is testing in the field. Expect more intuitive filters that relate to local search, mapping, place search, social tools and product inventory/availability.