Last month, Google updated its app for Android by dressing it in its new Material Design — a new "look and feel" that features bold colors, fluidity and a more intuitive user experience — and packing it with smarter features.
Now, Google for iOS can get in on the fun, too: The company updated the app with a Material Design makeover and added several useful features for business owners. New capabilities include faster search, recently viewed pages, built-in Maps functionality and Google Cards.
Here's what the new Google app for iOS Material Design update has to offer and how it can help you run your business. [Android 5.0 Lollipop vs. iOS 8: Which Is Better for Business?]
The Google app for iOS now makes search faster and easier. There are two ways to use search with the Google app: ask a question by voice command, or manually type in searches. Previously, both methods required a few steps to get to the mic or search box.
Instead of having to hunt for the mic button to activate a voice search or tapping around to type into the search box, Google has simplified the process by including a Google button at the bottom of the app. This button will instantly enable search, whether you want to speak into your phone or type in what you're looking for.
When you multitask, it's likely that you'll end up with a mountain of opened windows — and, inevitably, lose some in the process, either by accidentally closing them or closing the app altogether to de-clutter. This is where the new Recents button can help.
The Recents button lets you stay organized by displaying all of your recently viewed pages. Just tap the button, and it will open all recent windows in a scrollable stack, so you can flick through each one to easily manage your searches and tasks.
Search Google Maps
Hate having to open multiple apps to perform a single or similar tasks? Google for iOS now integrates with Google Maps, so you can now search for locations and view maps without having to open the stand-alone Google Maps app. This integration includes Street View, to give you an in-person perspective of what a restaurant, store, office or other establishment looks like. (You'll still need to open Google Maps if you need directions, but Google says that's just a tap away.)
One of the most useful features of the Google app is Google Cards, a tool that helps you stay on top of your business. It keeps track of everything from meetings and events to flights, restaurant reservations, package shipments and more. It integrates with your Gmail account and other apps to gather all of this data, and then sends you notifications and reminders per your request.
The new Google app for iOS is now available in the Apple App Store.