Amit Agarwal reports (with screenshots) that Google is testing a new design layout that places familiar search options at the top of the screen, and actually makes the search results page more Google Profile-ish. The options are available through tabs at the top.
The screenshots show a single column design, but the ads are strangely missing.
Image Credit: Digital Inspiration
It's hard to say whether this design will come to fruition. Users (at least some) have probably just gotten accustomed to the major redesign of last year, which saw the left panel come to the table, making the Google experience considerably more Bing looking. This design would certainly separate it more from that.
Today, Google announced an update for Google Maps for Android to improve Google Places and Google Latitude with the following features:
"When deciding on a place to go, people often want to know what a place looks like in addition to seeing ratings and reviews," says product manager Benjamin Grol. "You can now contribute photos to help others get a sense of places. You can now attach your photos to Places, and yours may even become the profile picture for that page. If you want to view or delete any photos you’ve contributed to Places, you can manage uploaded photos in the 'Photos for Google Maps' album on your Picasa account."
In June we announced descriptive terms and ‘My Places’ for the desktop," adds Grol. "Both these features are now in Google Maps for mobile. Descriptive terms appear in search results for Places to inform you what businesses are ‘known for,’ such as their ‘eggs benedict’ or being ‘worth the wait.’ Also, My Places for mobile provides quick access to starred and recent Place pages you’ve looked at. You can access My Places by pressing your phone’s menu button while in Google Maps."
The update requires Android 2.1 or higher.