The new icons are bigger so you can filter search results without sanding down your finger.

Google last month announced a bunch of enhancements to its search engine and today they confirmed via a blog post an overhauled layout on iPad and other (read: Android) tablets, just two days after the blog Digital Inspirations leaked the new UI. From now , running a query by visiting in your iPad’s browser produces an iPad-optimized layout in search results.

Gone is the left-hand column that had ridiculously tiny search controls, making room for bigger buttons and more white space which is definitely a lot easier on the eyes. It’s surprising how long it has taken Google to optimize web search experience on tablets, really. Now you can finally hit the controls on smaller tablets without having to sand down your finger first.

Our favorite: The big buttons right below the search box for quick access to specific search silos, such as Web, Images, News and so forth. Also noteworthy, image results are  now way more attractive due to larger previews and they continuous scroll – just reach the bottom of the page and a new batch of images will load automatically. The new layout will be available on iPad and Android Honeycomb 3.1 tablets and in 36 languages “in the coming days”, everyone’s favorite search monster noted. Another pretty screenshot right below.