General Google’s User-Hostile Search Field

Infrared

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 28, 2007
1,680
56
Ok, so I’m having issues with cursor placement in Google’s search field.

E.g.: I tap the area indicated by the wobbly arrow below:



Which leads to this:



I.e. the cursor ends up in the wrong place.

It is subsequently possible to place the cursor, but it requires an extremely long finger press.

And it’s also difficult moving the cursor and pasting text into the search field.

Notes: this behaviour appears to have been caused by a change at Google’s end. That is, the change occurred without a change in iOS version or settings.

Further, the above-described behaviour occurs in Safari. In Chrome the behaviour is different - and closer to expectations. This is curious, because (as I understand it), all web browsers on iOS use Apple’s underlying web tech.

As an experiment, I tried iCab, which allows you to set the user agent identifier. When the browser identifies itself to Google Search as Safari/iOS, then it takes a very long press to get the cursor in position (approx. 1 second). If the browser identifies itself as Chrome/iOS, a short tap suffices. Different behaviours, different UA strings, same browser.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,814
16,191
Ok, so I’m having issues with cursor placement in Google’s search field.

E.g.: I tap the area indicated by the wobbly arrow below:



Which leads to this:



I.e. the cursor ends up in the wrong place.

It is subsequently possible to place the cursor, but it requires an extremely long finger press.

And it’s also difficult moving the cursor and pasting text into the search field.

Notes: this behaviour appears to have been caused by a change at Google’s end. That is, the change occurred without a change in iOS version or settings.

Further, the above-described behaviour occurs in Safari. In Chrome the behaviour is different - and closer to expectations. This is curious, because (as I understand it), all web browsers on iOS use Apple’s underlying web tech.

As an experiment, I tried iCab, which allows you to set the user agent identifier. When the browser identifies itself to Google Search as Safari/iOS, then it takes a very long press to get the cursor in position (approx. 1 second). If the browser identifies itself as Chrome/iOS, a short tap suffices. Different behaviours, different UA strings, same browser.
You can try long pressing or using 3D Touch on the space bar which can perhaps be a faster/easier way to move to cursor.
 

Elisha

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2006
766
486
What has this got to do with Google?
Sounds like a half assed Apple iOS implementation.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,814
16,191
What has this got to do with Google?
Sounds like a half assed Apple iOS implementation.
Depends on where the change is given that websites can be coded to render and respond differently on different browsers.
 

Infrared

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 28, 2007
1,680
56
What has this got to do with Google?
Sounds like a half assed Apple iOS implementation.
I’m not having similar issues with other search engines (e.g. bing.com) or website search fields. This issue seems to be specific to Google and it’s very recent.

The behaviour is contrary to what is normal within iOS and on other websites. The expectation is that a short tap will place the cursor. That this doesn’t work within Google’s search field suggests that there’s something going on that’s interfering with the standard behaviour, e.g., some javascript is up to something. And, as above, it looks as though Google’s search site recognises mobile Safari and treats it differently to Chrome, but that’s something that needs investigating carefully.
 
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mcdj

macrumors G3
Jul 10, 2007
8,865
3,725
NYC
Same here. I suspect a change on Google’s side that will hopefully be noticed and fixed soon.
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2018
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I know you're talking about the mobile web browser but I can't seem to recreate this in the iOS Google Search app if it's really bothersome.
 

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,582
2,410
United States
I have this happen all day every day in all iOS apps that I use. It is frustrating when I’m trying to edit something. I just have to keep repeatedly tapping where I want the cursor to be. Then tap somewhere else and then try again. It is annoying. That’s where a little button that we could use to control the pointer like a mouse would be very helpful. It’s a design issue. And one that would be easy to solve if Apple gave us left, right, and up / down arrows on the touch keyboard. Then we could easily scroll to where we want the cursor when correcting typos and such. Often I have to delete everything all the way back to where the typo is, because iOS won’t let me put the cursor anywhere close to where I want to be.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,814
16,191
I have this happen all day every day in all iOS apps that I use. It is frustrating when I’m trying to edit something. I just have to keep repeatedly tapping where I want the cursor to be. Then tap somewhere else and then try again. It is annoying. That’s where a little button that we could use to control the pointer like a mouse would be very helpful. It’s a design issue. And one that would be easy to solve if Apple gave us left, right, and up / down arrows on the touch keyboard. Then we could easily scroll to where we want the cursor when correcting typos and such. Often I have to delete everything all the way back to where the typo is, because iOS won’t let me put the cursor anywhere close to where I want to be.
3D Touch on the keyboard or alternatively longpress on the spacebar will essentially give you that.
 
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MisterSavage

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2018
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I have this happen all day every day in all iOS apps that I use. It is frustrating when I’m trying to edit something. I just have to keep repeatedly tapping where I want the cursor to be. Then tap somewhere else and then try again. It is annoying. That’s where a little button that we could use to control the pointer like a mouse would be very helpful. It’s a design issue. And one that would be easy to solve if Apple gave us left, right, and up / down arrows on the touch keyboard. Then we could easily scroll to where we want the cursor when correcting typos and such. Often I have to delete everything all the way back to where the typo is, because iOS won’t let me put the cursor anywhere close to where I want to be.
What drive me crazy is in something like a URL bar and the entire text is selected but I want to move the cursor to somewhere to edit something. I'll keep getting the option to copy, paste, etc. It shouldn't be this difficult.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,814
16,191
What drive me crazy is in something like a URL bar and the entire text is selected but I want to move the cursor to somewhere to edit something. I'll keep getting the option to copy, paste, etc. It shouldn't be this difficult.
Usually it simply takes another tap to do that (first one brings up those options and another one places the cursor somewhere).
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2018
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Usually it simply takes another tap to do that (first one brings up those options and another one places the cursor somewhere).
That's what I would expect (another tap to deselect) but that doesn't always happen.
 

Infrared

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 28, 2007
1,680
56
One workaround is to switch to Google shopping (or whatever), edit the search field and then switch back. The spacebar method of cursor control also works.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,527
927
Might be fixed on Google's end now. The search box is much more touch friendly last couple of days.