On iPhone and iPad, the Google app is how users access Lens, Search, and Discover. For the two latter experiences, Google has already built out a rich web experience, but the iOS Search app is now becoming even more browser-like with a grid of “Tabs.” 

The Search app’s Home tab is for Discover, while Collections allow you to save pages, images, and locations found online. For the past few years, “Recent” was the final section for showing searches and results made in the past week. That view also exists on Android, but is deprioritized and no longer in the app’s bottom bar.

That third page has now been renamed to “Tabs” and shows your “Open tabs” from both Discover and Google Search. Instead of a suggestion to start a “New search,” you get a “New Tab” FAB. Functionality is relatively unchanged, but this new mental model of “Tabs” will make sense for more people.

Meanwhile, it makes the Google app even more of a browser. You can already “Search or type URL,” while there’s a text-to-speech (TTS) “Read Aloud” feature to listen to pages and even “Add to queue.” When you’re browsing a page, the bottom-right corner lets you see your open tabs and quickly switch. 

Google app iOS Tabs

Settings allow you to determine how long pages stay open before they are automatically closed: Never, After 1 day, week, or month.

Tabs in the iOS Google app are rolling out via a server-side update, though version 157 is also rolling out this morning via the App Store

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