Google Search iPad app update adds a hint of Chrome

The latest version of the Google Search app for iPad has landed in the App Store - and there's more than a slight whiff of the Chrome browser and Chrome OS bursting out of the app.

Starting with the improved search aspects first though, and Google Instant is now part of the fun, along with much more visual and tablet-friendly scrolling for images, history and instant previews.

The app also has a nifty page split UI, whereby your Google search results are always remembered in the background and the page you select is loaded on a tab on the right, which you can drag to occupy the full screen.

Sure, it's not a fully-tabbed up browser, but anyone kidding themselves that this isn't a Chrome like browsing experience is short-sighted at best. There's even buttons on the top bar to differentiate between images, videos, web and so on for the results.

Google+ also gets thrown into the mix, with the +1 button in place at the top of the display. The Chrome OS comparisons come from the ease of jumping to a Google Apps page, where you can access all your Google toys such as Gmail, YouTube, Reader and Maps - all wrapped up nicely within the app.

It may as well be called Google Chrome for iPad. But we don't think the Cupertino boardroom would like that too much.

The updated Google Search is free, and in the App Store now.