In one of those, it-didn’t-look-like-that-yesterday moments, Google has rolled out a new design for its search pages when viewed on the iPhone or Android smartphones.
Doing a search via the Safari browser on the iPhone now brings up a user interface more akin to the companies official Google Mobile app, with large logos for the different elements of Google. It's the same when viewed in the Android browser as well.
Pressing the “More” option within the new toolbar will take the experience one step further with the page sliding down (presumably thanks to HTML5) to reveal further search options or apps.
It's a very different experience to the black bar design that's rolled out on the desktop over the last 2 weeks.
The move on the iPhone (we couldn't replicate it on the iPad) virtually bypasses the need for the dedicated app on the phone and allows you to access most of Google’s services (bar Google+) directly from within Safari.
It means that Google can bypass Apple’s stringent app process to be included in the App Store and could spell trouble for Apple’s control over apps in the future. Remember Apple has just announced that it's sold 15 billion apps, which in turn has made the company almost $4 billion.
If Google can prove to users that not only can a website be designed to look like an app, but offer considerably more functionality on page than web browsers are currently used to, it might make consumers question why in some cases they need to download an app in the first place.
Is this the future for the mobile web? Let us know what you think in the comments below.