Google beefs up image search

Borrows features from Microsoft Bing
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Google has updated its image search service with several improvements including a new "dense tiled" layout.

Having launched image search in 2001, the hugely popular Google image search now indexes over 10 billion images. Today the company unveiled a raft of improvements to the search interface described in a blog post such as a new tile-based view reminiscent of the image search in Microsoft Bing.

Rather than the matrix of image thumbnails and text, the new dense tiled layout maximises the space for images and furthermore allows instant scrolling through up to 1,000 images rather than the past method of needing to click through multiple pages of results.

Mousing over the images now presents the site summary in a pop up and provides access to image specific features such as "similar images". The company has also improved the landing page on clicking through images rather than the simple top frame of the past image search. 

In a move consistent with the strategy throughout Google's web-based applications, the image search has also improved keyboard shortcuts. 

Since Google typically launches new features first on the US site, to see the new image search it may be necessary to visit google.com rather than a regional Google web site.

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