There has been an almost endless stream of updated Android 5.0 (Lollipop) apps hitting us recently. Some official and many unofficially. It seems everyone is getting ready for the big changeover. Google have been no different with a number of their services getting the Lollipop treatment and us getting a sneak peak. Recently updates have been noted to nearly all Google services and apps. All but one that is. Google Search has yet to see the full Lollipop or Material Design makeover or at least we have yet to see it. This seems rather strange as Google being (supposedly) primarily a search engine you would think its search feature would be the big Material Design thing. However, this might very well be the reason as to why we haven’t seen it yet. With all the updates coming thick and thicker it maybe that Google are holding on to the Search update and getting ready to hit us with the biggest makeover so far.
Well it now seems that the update to search may have actually hit the web. Before you ask there is no apk to download, in fact there is not even Google Search. It seems a limited test feature which is suspected to be Google Search is available online although not as you would expect. The mockup of Search has appeared on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk which is a testing ground for various tasks. Businesses can throw out a task and those who are signed up can do the task and get paid for it. Google have been suspected of using this service before to test-run features and it is presumed this is the case now. If you go click this link on a desktop you will see the page does not show anything and simply says “Please visit on a Nexus 5 or Samsung Galaxy S5 device“. However, I was able to visit it on a One Plus One and as such can confirm that other devices are working (but not desktops).
On the page is what seems to be the new Material Design themed Google Search albeit under the guise Fact Over Flow. Now this is not a fully functional Search and instead only a small selection of pre-inputted search queries are possible. However, when you click on any of them you get to see what the new Search looks like…and it looks rather good. As you would expect with material Design, there are a number of aesthetic changes including much more reliance on card based displays then continued text. In addition, the actual navigation feels much smoother. When viewing a search result and then clicking back on the Google logo (Fact Over Flow logo) the page does not change or reload but instead morphs from the previous page to the current page. The transition between the pages is seamless. Below I have included screenshots from the new Search side by side with the current Google Search to give you an example of the difference between the new and the old. Both were taken on the same device and both via Chrome Beta with the only difference being Fact Over Flow and current Google Search were on different tabs. Needless to say, the images on the right are the Material Design ones. Hit up the link for yourself to see how the new design looks and make sure to let us know what you think.