Typeahead; Bringing over great subtle UX from Android to iOS


It has been really interesting to see Google do such a great job with its iOS applications recently. Many have been surprised to see this, as they compare the basic white bland UI from some of the Google web applications.

I am not quite as surprised as I met the Mac team back in the day and they were stellar. They were hard core Mac heads (e.g. the guy who ran the group created MacFUSE, and the creator of Quicksilver was a designer on the team!) who knew their stuff.

I enjoy small UX decisions that bring that one feature that makes you smile, and many of the Google iOS apps have brought over one of these features from the world of Android. The feature is part of type ahead.

I wonder if you have ever had this frustration. You are getting type ahead results (e.g. see the first screen shot of Mobile Safari) and you don’t want to tap on one of the items in the type ahead results list as they aren’t quite right…. but they are close and you just want to edit one. Argh!

Now look at how Google has brought over the “pointing to the top left” arrow in both of the other screenshots above (Google Chrome for iOS search, and a Google search in the browser itself). That arrow is telling you “I won’t act on this term, but instead will shove the contents up there in the text box” which means you can get to refining it right away.

A small feature. But one that takes away that moment of frustration.

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