Google has released a new search app for Windows 8. It’s available from the Windows Store, and while you might think it’s just a repackaged version of the Google website which you can load in any web browser, the Google Search App for Windows 8 also adds features found in Google’s mobile apps for Android and iOS.
The Google Search app for Windows 8 runs as a full-screen app using the new Windows “Modern” UI. But when you first load the app it basically looks like the Google website. There’s a whole lot of white space with a search box in the middle.
Things get a little more interesting if you tap one of the gray icons below the search box though.
You can use the Voice Search feature to start a search by speaking into your computer’s microphone. You can also ask a question, and if Google understands (and has an answer), the results will show up on the results page.
The Applications icon brings up shortcuts to Google apps including Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and more.
The app supports Google Instant, which means that you’ll start to see results as soon as you start typing. You can also use an Instant Previews mode to see previews of websites before you visit them. Google Image Search works much like the same way as it does on mobile devices, showing a series of photos in a lightbox that you can scroll through before visiting a website.
You can also swipe to see recent searches. And Google Search integrates with the Windows 8 Search Charm, letting you start a search even if you’re using a different app in the foreground.