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, March 13 2011

Google Instant Previews for Mobile - First Impressions

A few days ago, Google launched Instant Previews on Mobile - a neat new feature for improving search experience for mobile users. Clicking on the preview icon pulls up a set of screenshots representing the content of SERP links, helping users find relevant pages faster.

This is a great example of using client-side technology in order to improve the mobile web experience. Our first impressions are below.

Surprisingly, GIP fails to encourage users to visit some of the best mobile experiences out there - rich HTML5 mobile websites, like Google Maps. Here is the mobile preview for the "Google Maps" query:

Compare this to the actual, much prettier Mobile Google Maps:

Any site requiring a login will have a very weak preview (this is a limitation of the image thumbnailing technology used by Google):

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Best previews are available for mobile websites with liquid layouts:

Sometimes GIP follows mobile device detection redirects...

...and sometimes it doesn't:

Overall, the experience is fast, non-intrusive and valuable for a lot of web content out there. To take Mobile Instant Preview to the next level, Google needs to index and promote AppStore and Android Market apps related to the search query/URL.This would solve a huge issue with discovery and retention of many useful native apps out there. 

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