Steps to reclaim your rightful Google search results page | webOS Nation

Steps to reclaim your rightful Google search results page 28

by Adam Marks Mon, 27 Aug 2012 8:47 pm EDT

Steps to reclaim your rightful Google search results page

You may have noticed recently that performing a Google search on your webOS phone has looks a bit different than it has for the last three years. Instead of the typical smartphone-optimized page of search results, Google has downgraded its intelligence assessment of your phone and now routes us back to the basic mobile search results page instead, despite that fact that your webOS device is just as capable as handling the search results as an iPhone or Android device. Despite their efforts to bully us into submission, the webOS nation will always find a fix, workaround, or homebrew hack to get our devices working again. 

One way to get around this is to make Google think that your device is actually something else, like an iPhone. There is a homebrew fix for webOS 2.2.4 or 3.0 or greater posted by Donald Kirker on the WebOS Internals Wiki that will show you how to modify the "user agent" of your device, but make sure that you are comfortable performing these types of edits to system-files and knowing that there is always the possibility of things going wrong with your device. If you want an easier workaround that doesn't involve any homebrew hackery, and you have a webOS device running webOS 2.0 or higher, all you need to do is rummage around in our basket of webOS Nation tips to find just the right combination to solve this problem.

As it turns out, you only get the mobile-formatted search results page by performing a Google search directly from Just Type or from within the browser's built-in search functionally. If you go directly to and perform your search there, you get the old search results page back. So, all you need to do is change your Just Type default search engine that handles the results from a direct Google search instead of a Just Type Google search. Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as that, but it's not that complex either. Just follow the steps below on your webOS 2.0 or higher device to create an Open Search website plug-in based off a direct search and then update your Just Type preferences, and you will be basking in your smartphone-optimzied Google results page glory in no time.

  1. Open the browser and load up
  2. Perform a search for "TEST" (all CAPS, no quotes)
  3. Swipe down on the page to reveal the header bar (it should say "TEST - Google Search"), tap on it to reveal the URL (it should look something like "" and copy it to the clipboard by performing a Meta-tap C
  4. Navigate to to generate your Open Search Plug-in
    • Under "Search URL", paste in that TEST search URL by performing a Meta-tap V
    • Leave Suggestions URL (Options) blank
    • Under "Search plugin title", enter the title that you want this to show as, such as "Google (fixed)". This is what will show up in your Just Type search option
    • Scroll down to "Icon" and choose "Website Favicon (auto detect)"
  5. Tap the "Create Plugin" button
  6. After about 5-10 seconds, a notification should appear to "Tap to add as Search Engine" for the site you just added. Tapping on that notification should bring you to the Just Type Preferences page. If tapping on it does not bring you there, then minimize the browser to card mode, tap on the "Just Type" bar, swipe-down from the top-left to view the Application drop-down menu, and choose "Preferences"
  7. Scroll down to the "LAUNCH & SEARCH" section and tap the "+ Add More Searches" at the bottom
  8. Scroll down to the "RECENTLY VIEWED SEARCH ENGINES" and find the website search you just created and tap on it
  9. Back on the Just Type preferences screen, scroll back all the way to the top and tap on "Google" under "DEFAULT SEARCH ENGINE"
  10. In the "FEATURED WEB SEARCH ENGINES", find the website search you created and tap on it.
  11. Close out of the Just type Preferences

From here on out, any Just Type Google search you perform should route you back to the correct version of the search results page. Unfortunately, using the search functionality built into the web browser still won't work correctly so you will still need to go to or go back to Just Type to perform your search.

But have no fear, if this all seems too much for you to handle (it's really not that bad), never fear. The homebrew community is hard at work whipping up a patchable version that will fix this for you.


Excellent, will try.

Actually, it seems google already fixed it!

Do you get the good mobile UI when searching from Just Type or Browser address bar?

not for me on my pre3. i still get the site that only shows 3 results and gives the "mobile formatted" pages when u click a link

Sorry guys, the have not fixed it, it was just that front page changed from the basic layout to the smartphone one, the just type searchs remain in basic mode as well as the ones performed on the address bar.

I resorted to just follow the steps suggested here and I´ve got the correct just type search but still no address bar search (as expected)

Nice work around to save the day. Thanks!

Only problem with this fix is it brakes google image search. You are unable to select a image to view and download. Any fix for both?

I guess the best thing to do, is when searching for an image just select the default google search from "Launch & Search" since it is the first option listed.

Just applied this. Simple and works great. Still can't wait for the patch to come out to make this a permanent fix. Thanks!

20 GOTO 10

My Pre+ is back to normal with no action on my part. Works as it used to in both just-type from the main screen and from the browser window. I was about to change my default search engine to Yahoo!. I may do that anyway. I know some have changed to Bing.

how to change to bing

I'm not sure about every1 else but I simply scroll down to the end of the page and click on the "classic" version of google instead of the forced "mobile". This seems to work great without all the hassle. 2 cents given....

I get normal search in universe browser, but the basic one in just type and stock browser

i just defaulted to Bing.....

Works great. Now have original google smartphone page for "just type". Thanks.

Worked great and I learned something new about the phone in the process. I love days like this!

Great article. The steps worked perfectly.

Worked here too on Sprint FrankenPre 2. Thanks!

What a terrific fix. The steps were very clear and easy to follow. THANK YOU!!

Looks like google is working on a fix:

Hi all -

Palm Pre folks - we're making a change for the Palm Pre very, very soon, and you'll be getting a new and improved experience after that. Please hang in there just a bit longer!

luckyinred, it sounds like your browser might have something funky going on. Can you try clearing your cache and cookies and let me know if the problem persists? These look like some good instructions for clearing cache and cookies if you need some pointers.


Thanks :)

Glad to see Jacqueline's response!!

The actual browser may need a patch. I think it has its own search list (I think it was never fully expanded out).

Regarding the user-agent tokens: This applies to ALL webOS versions (well, I am pretty sure at least 1.4.5 up through 3.0.5). But! There is a MUCH better fix for webOS 3.0 and up. I'll work on a patch for that. I'll let Adam know when that stuff is ready. :) (Or, if you are brave, you can follow my steps on the webOS-Internals wiki).

How have you got the top bit of the google page to display properly? It is black for me unless I'm in card view. It also happens on other websites.

back to normal on franken pre for just type and from browser. Yes black background on the non-active tabs is still there in portrait mode. Goes away when enlarged or landscape mode

maps seem to be broken, does not launch maps app

I'm using the homebrew Google Maps app, it hasn't been integrated with Google search for a while. Maybe when this all shakes out someone can help me fix that? Thanks! :)

Today when I Just Type a Google search it pulls up a page that recognizes that I am logged in to my Google email, and the search results page looks fine.

Thanks Google! :)