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Jul 21, 08 - 9:25 am

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Google’s latest improvement now allows users to save bookmarks to specific Google services directly on the desktop of their iPhone as icons. Rather than stand-alone applications, however, these are just links to the web-based services. Also, ever mindful of how fast its services are, Google has picked up the pace a bit.

I am glad Google took this step to speed up the time it takes to reach certain Google services. Previously, you had to open a link to Once that page loaded, you could use the tabs at the top of the page to jump to the Calendar, Gmail, Reader and More screens.

Now, if you want to go straight to Google Reader — or any over the others — you can jump there from your iPhone’s home screen. As long as you are signed in to your account, it will bring up your information right away. Google writes:

“We’ve created cool new icons for all the applications. Simply go to in your browser, tap on any of the application tabs, click the ‘+’ button, and select ‘Add to Home Screen.’ The icons will appear on your iPhone Home Screen allowing you to go directly to the application with a tap of your finger.”

It’s simple to set up, but I am still disappointed that Google has not created on-board applications for the iPhone that provide more robust features than those that are available via the online versions.

Google also says it has sped up page load times for the main search site:

“At Google, improving the speed of our applications and user experience is a top priority. The new for the iPhone browser now loads twice as fast as before — and not just over 3G or Wi-Fi but also EDGE. We’ve optimized the page for fast searching, while still providing easy access to other Google applications. We also improved the user interface so that there’s more room on the page for search results.”

I timed it. The home screen loads in 6 seconds via EDGE, 4 seconds via 3G, and 3 seconds via Wi-Fi. The expanded real estate on the the search results page is also nice to have, as you can view more results at one time.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

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