Forums | Reviews | Search | Full Version

Google thinks poorly of your Pre, routes us back to basic mobile search

Here's hoping you like your Google Search results severed up as if you're using a Treo, because for at least the past week if you've been using a webOS smartphone, that's what you're getting. For whatever reason, Google's flipped a switch on some server in one of their datacenters scattered across the globe that's taken webOS smartphone search results back about five years. Back to a time when fancy pants WebKit browsers were a novelty and search results had to be served up over slow 2G (or worse) connections and displayed on pathetic TFT matrix screens. And navigated with either a stylus or *shudder* a trackball. Those were dark times for the fledgling mobile internet.

What does that mean for your Google search results? It means that instead of getting ten search results you get three. It means you get next and previous page controls and not finer page 1, 2, 3, and 4 options. It means your images are presented in a hodge-podge mess (though you can at least view them, which you couldn't on the new/old design). It means you can't access most of Google services, and the only things available to you from search are Web, Images, Places, and News.

Worst of all, it means that Google assumes your smartphone has the intelligence of a snail and serves up 'mobile formatted' pages that go super light on the graphics and formatting. While that's a nice option to have, we never ever ever want that as the default. You can jump on to view the full page, but that's one more tap and, over cellular, one more page load until you get to the content that you want.

But why, Google, why? The webOS browser hasn't gotten any worse, though it admittedly hasn't gotten any better for quite some time. But Google's services haven't changed. I'm looking at Google on an iPhone right now, and it's the same interface with the same behaviors serving up the same content as it was last month and a year ago. For whatever reason, be it inadvertedly (probably) or purposefully (not likely), Google's now viewing and treating webOS smartphones as second-class citizens in the mobile world. Anybody feeling up for some *gulp* Bing?