Google for iOS Goes Incognito


Google for iOS just got a lot more private, as a Tuesday update adds incognito mode. As it does in Chrome, the feature allows users to surf without having searches and browser history collected.

For added security, Unni Narayanan, director of Google product management, suggests enabling Touch ID so only your unique fingerprint (or those of anyone whose prints are saved on your phone) can unlock an existing incognito session.

Incognito mode does not provide complete anonymity on the Web—sites are still going to record your IP address, for example. But whether you want to do a surreptitious Google search or purchase a birthday gift for someone who shares your device, incognito is a good way to make sure your browsing activities won't land you in hot water.

The update, meanwhile, also allows users to watch YouTube videos in Search. "Skip the extra step before you break into dance to your favorite music video or before you learn a thing or two in the latest how-to," Narayanan said. "No new Web pages + less load time = more fun."

He also promised under-the-hood improvements that make the app twice as reliable and less likely to crash.

Earlier this year, Google gave its iOS app a major speed boost. Keep an eye out for the lightning bolt and "AMP" (Accelerated Mobile Pages) next to articles in the Top Stories section of your search results for quicker access to articles. The update also made it easier to track sports events: Users can watch highlights directly in your Now cards; just tap the play button and watch without leaving the app.

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