Anyone who's used the Internet for a few days knows that Google (and all the other search engines at this point) will suggest alternative search terms if the algorithm determines that you've made a typo or a mistake. At least one user is now seeing this behaviour on the Android app version of Google Search, and seeing it before you would expect to: right in the drop-down search results that appear before you actually press Enter.

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What the hell are firms of endearment?

This is interesting not because it's a previously unseen feature of Google Search on Android, but because it also isn't present on Google Search on the web and in Chrome. If you make a mistake while using Google Search on your desktop browser, the correction won't show up in the suggestions, only in the results. This addition to the Android app version (which doesn't seem to appear on the mobile web or in Chrome for Android's integrated search bar) may inform more widespread changes to come.

And then again, it may not. Google has been known to run experiments with search results, and since a huge portion of Google Search for Android's behavior is handled server side, we might never see evidence of any changes in the app itself. Since we can't replicate this search result at Android Police (and assuming that it's not some kind of error), we're guessing that this is another case of Google A/B testing an upcoming feature. It may or may not stick around.

  • Thanks:
  • Greig