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):
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.