Google’s redesigned image search, which was announced by the company last Wednesday, is quite beautiful, but it’s certainly not original.
In the new Google image search, images are displayed in organized, inline panels. When an image is clicked on, it expands into a full bar to reveal more information about the image, including the website it came from and other image information.
Google’s new image search UX has the identical look and feel to iTunes 11, where album artwork is arranged in an inline fashion, but when an album is clicked on, it expands into a full bar to reveal information about the album, including its tracks and related music in the iTunes Store.
“We now display detailed information about the image (the metadata) right underneath the image in the search results, instead of redirecting users to a separate landing page,” Hongyi Li, associate product manager for Google, wrote in a company blog post. “We’re featuring some key information much more prominently next to the image: the title of the page hosting the image, the domain name it comes from and the image size.”
Apple calls this exact process in iTunes 11 Expanded View.
“Select one of your albums, and now it will expand in place,” Apple says on its website. “That means you can see all the songs on the album, click play and keep right on browsing without having to click back to your library. You’ll also see In the Store recommendations for similar albums you’ll want to check out.”
This isn’t the first time Google has been accused of stealing an Apple design or product. In fact, Apple’s late founder, Steve Jobs, went so far as to declare war on Google over allegedly copying many elements of Apple's popular iOS platform in its own Android operating system. Last August, a jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages after finding Samsung had infringed on a series of Apple patents for mobile devices.
"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."