Ina Fried

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Google Makes the iPad Even More Compelling Than Android Tablets With New Search App

It’s not surprising that the iPad is getting another cool app. After all, the Apple tablet has tons of such programs, while its Android rivals still suffer from a paucity of great, tablet-centric programs.

What is noteworthy is that Google is the one making the new app that is widening Apple’s lead. On Monday, the company is releasing a major overhaul of its Google Search for iPad app. The new version allows, among other things, the ability to use the left-hand side of the screen to search, while using the right-hand side to view the actual Web site result, easily shifting back and forth between search and results.

Other features include immersive image search and a visual search-history page. It’s the kind of app that makes a compelling case for why tablets are great. Unfortunately for the Android team, that case is being made for the iPad.

Google does have an Android search app that runs on phones and tablets. While it doesn’t support some of the flashiest new features, it does offer support for things like instant search and the “+1” options that are also part of the new iPad app.

That app, which requires iOS 4.0 or later, is not the only search app designed to take advantage of the iPad’s vast real estate and touchscreen. Microsoft has taken a similar approach with its Bing app for the iPad.

And while Google clearly would like its tablets to take off, it can’t afford to lose ground in its core search business while Apple runs away with the market.

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