You may have noticed that if you search for someone you know in the main Google Search app on Android, their name will automatically appear if they're already in your Google Contacts. Those search results might get a bit more useful soon: at least one user spotted some advanced quick shortcuts added to his contacts in the Search bar. As shared on Google+, James Scott Jr. saw links to call, text, or email some of his contacts right there in the search results. Read More
One might assume that anyone who's enthusiastic enough to enable Google Now On Tap, the contextual search engine that uses screenshots and optical character recognition, would also want access to Google Now cards, which depend more on location, time, and search history. But you know what they say about making assumptions. Previously Now On Tap did indeed depend on the more vanilla Google Now, or at least was linked to it, but the latest version of the Google search app for Android seems to have reduced the interdependency of these two tools. Read More
The Now On Tap portion of Google Search, still limited to Marshmallow and the Android N developer preview, is getting some new bells and whistles. A few readers tipped us off about the ability to select text in any app, activate the Now On Tap gesture, and get results only about the selected text. It's a great way to narrow the text recognition portion of the tool (which bowed earlier this year) down to only what you want. As we were preparing to report on the new feature, Google went ahead and announced it in a blog post, along with some other neat additions. Read More
One of the more exciting revelations at the opening keynote of Google I/O 2016 is "Assistant," Google's upcoming expansion of its search tools. Explaining exactly what Assistant is and isn't is a bit tricky, because it both integrates a lot of existing Google technology and spills over into other upcoming services, like Google Home and Allo. Essentially, it's a new way to interact with Google Search, with the intention being that you "speak" with it in a more human fashion. Read More
Years back, pressing the guide button on your remote and browse through TV listings was a luxury. It meant being able to see what was playing without channel surfing or purchasing a physical TV guide. But these days, the idea of scanning through even a digital guide strikes many of us as downright tedious.
We search online instead. And pretty soon, Google will start displaying live TV listings at the top of search results when you look for a show. Read More
Google Search can do many wondrous things: set up a reminder item, imitate a metronome, show (reasonably) accurate weather predictions...or play animal sounds. That's right, the newest feature to come to the platform is a function to play a requested animal sound, which may make you feel like you're in a zoo, but might come in handy one day.
So what animals are there to choose from? Well, there're cats and dogs, alongside a range of 'farmyard' animals, such as pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, and roosters. Then there's the 'wildlife' contingency of the animal kingdom - tigers, zebras, lions, apes, raccoons, and elephants. Read More
We've received word that Google is doing another limited rollout test, this time surrounding weather, one of their favourite topics to trial with users. Searching "weather" might show you a card asking if you'd like to "Access weather instantly from your Home screen." If you tap add, a shortcut will show up on the homescreen. It appears to work almost exactly like Chrome's Add to homescreen function, except this opens the native Search and not a browser.
This may seem a little superfluous, as Google has weather available through Google Now, and possibly in your notifications too. That might be why they're testing it. Read More
It feels like Google is always adding new cards to Search, and it's just quietly released another one: a metronome. Simply search for 'metronome,' and a card will pop up showing a beats-per-minute slider and a play button. Press play and you get a clicking noise. Voila, a metronome.
The beats-per-minute value is set at 120 by default, but can be changed to any number between 40 and 208. When you tweak the value, the color changes from blue to orange, and when you press play, the button animates, pulsating according to the selected value. The card works with both desktop and mobile search, so you can play the piano and have a beat without needing a computer. Read More
Two years ago, I had to plan a vacation trip to London and all I remember was spending countless hours online checking airline ticket prices, hotel prices, and switching back and forth between different dates to see which combination resulted in the most affordable trip for me. That's not to mention the days of extensive research into London's theatre scene, events, restaurants, tourist attractions, and more, to find the places I knew I'd enjoy most. If I was to plan that same trip now, I'd have a much better way of doing it through Google's new Destinations.
Google is integrating its almighty knowledge of places with its Google Flight, Hotel search, weather history, itineraries, and more to become the travel agent you always wanted to have and that you can always pester for questions and new details. Read More
The Google App's version 5.10 update rolled out to the beta channel yesterday with a new waiting animation, but one change that was lurking behind is the option to open links from search results and Now cards in Chrome Custom Tabs instead of redirecting to the full Chrome browser (or your other default browser).
The option was first discovered by Cody in the APK teardown of version 5.5, but it appears to have just been activated now in the app. But, as with all things Google, there are a few asterisks attached to when it does and doesn't work. I have a Nexus 5X (Marshmallow 6.0.1) and an LG G4 (Lollipop 5.1), both running the Google App 5.10.23 and an old version of Play Services 8.4.89. Read More