No one likes auto-playing video, but auto-playing previews can be helpful in certain cases. Last month, Google began testing autoplaying videos for select searches (like movie trailers). Now the company is rolling out video previews more widely on its mobile Search. Read More
Google recently showed ads on Facebook in Indonesia inviting users to test a new app. Those who saw the ad and signed up have started receiving a link to try an experimental new search app from Google called Search Lite or, technically, Search (Test App) which looks targeted at the Indonesian — and maybe Indian — market.
Following the trend of all "lite" apps being released lately, Search Lite aims to make things faster and more data-friendly for some markets by working on slow connections, supporting offline features, using less data and thus taking much less time to finish tasks. Read More
While probing the v7.1 update for the Google app, Cody discovered an image of a flower titled ic_pollen_count.png. It was pretty clear that Google was planning to implement some sort of pollen forecast in search at some point, and now it's been made official. Read More
Back in March, Cody discovered hints of the Google app adding video previews and autoplay functionality. Since then, we didn't hear anything about the feature or spot any signs of it until today when reader Tycho pointed that there's a new "Video" section in the Google app's settings.
I've checked all my devices, ranging from a Galaxy S7 Edge on the latest Google app beta to the Nexus 7 (2013) which I rarely update and is still on version 22.214.171.124 of the Google app from many moons ago: they all have it. I'm quasi-sure the setting wasn't there before, I've also searched every recent screenshot we've received of the Google app's settings and it's not there. Read More
Back in 2014, Facebook introduced 'Safety Check,' which allows users to verify they are safe after a natural disaster or other terrible local event. Google has been working on something similar, but more geared towards keeping people informed if they're in the midst of a crisis. The feature is called 'SOS alerts,' and it's being rolled out today. Read More
No matter what crazy projects Google works on, Search is still the company's bread and butter. Over the years, it's continued to build up the good old Google Search page with small but useful improvements. The latest of these is a change to the way its built-in dictionary operates, separating it out from the main search function. Read More
Google allows businesses to register themselves through Google My Business, where they can adjust the information that appears on their Google search/Google Maps listings. They can add a phone number, change opening hours, respond to reviews, and so on. A new feature is rolling out in the My Business dashboard that allows customers to directly message companies via SMS. Read More
Thanks to the magic of A/B server-side tests, Google can try hundreds of different layouts for its apps and services and compare results between them. And the company's engineers are seriously taking advantage of that to check the influence of any design and option combination that they can think of. (Sidenote: this has made our lives hell at Android Police. The number of tips we get about changes we've already covered, the number of times we have to quadruple check something is new, the confusion over whether something is rolling out to everyone or just some people, the guessing game over whether it's a new app version feature or a server-side switch... Read More
Google has just added a new Personal tab for results to search. Now if you toss in a term that might not otherwise trigger the personalized search results feature, you can manually move over to the Personal tab and make sure that compatible results appear. Results there can be easily limited to the content of your Google account across the company's various services. Searching for calendar appointments or emails just got a little bit easier. Read More
It seems everywhere I look, user interfaces are becoming less colorful - iOS and Windows 10 are especially guilty of this. That's why I've always loved Material Design, because it encourages apps to have an eye-catching color palette. Unfortunately, some of Google's recent redesigns (like the all-white YouTube UI in testing) are following the trend of removing colors.
Rita here at Android Police shares my frustration, so she wasn't happy when she received a new search UI that does away with all colors. Take a look: Read More