Google adds 'Instant Previews' feature for mobile

Posted by Mike Luttrell

If you have at least Android 2.2 or iOS 4, when you run a mobile Google search, you'll now be able to see a quick snapshot of each website result before loading the site in its entirety.

This feature has been available on the PC version of Google search since last year.

Automatically pushed out to the mobile version of Google without the need for any kind of download or update, the new Instant Preview feature adds a magnifying glass icon next to every search result.

Tapping on the magnifying glass will bring up a picture that shows what the site looks like. The image is hosted by Google so if there's any security or compatibility issue, users will be protected. The preview also shows a text snippet from the site.

An exclusive feature to the mobile version of Google Instant Previews is the ability to swipe back and forth between the top 10 search results. That is, while previewing one site, users can swipe to the right or left to view previews of other websites that came up in the search.

"For example, if you’re looking for a webpage that has both photos and descriptions, you can use Instant Previews to quickly identify these pages by navigating across the visual search results with a few swipes of your finger," wrote Google on its official mobile blog.

It almost looks like a better feature on mobile than it does on a computer, because of the swiping feature. To see it in action, simply grab your Android or iOS device and go to Google.com.