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New Google app beta adds 'In Apps' home screen shortcut

The latest version of Google's Android app has done away with the Google Now branding, but there's something else lurking inside v6.5. That "In Apps" feature that was first officially announced a few weeks ago and mentioned alongside the LG V20 unveiling has showed up. As the name implies, it lets you search inside your apps more easily.

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Google search on mobile rolling out AMP optimized pages for all supported results

If you have never heard of Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, it's exactly what it sounds like. AMP documents are minimal web pages, with the same basic HTML syntax, designed to load as quickly as possible (even at the cost of some functionality). Web developers can create AMP versions of their webpages, with Google mirroring every page on its own servers for the quickest load times possible. For example, here is the AMP version (left) and normal mobile site (right) from Forbes:

screenshot_20160920-141039 screenshot_20160920-142411

What you can't see is that the AMP page loaded in under a second, and the Forbes page took about 20 seconds.

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Google Drive now has enhanced search with Natural Language Processing

Finding that one important file hidden in a sea of unrelated documents is never fun. Thankfully, Google is seeking to help solve that problem - at least for Google Drive users. Starting today, the Google Drive search bar on the web app can use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help you find documents. For example, searching "show me presentations from last year" brings up all your documents modified in last year with a presentation file type.

nlp

Google claims that this feature will only become more accurate as time goes on, so don't get your hopes up for perfect results quite yet. For example, I have a collection of old operating systems on ISO files, and when I search "iso files," a single JPEG file appears.

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Google seems to be testing a new look for search history in the Google widget, and you can try it now

The next time you do a search on your phone, you may notice something unusual—the search history drop down has a new look. Well, it's new for some people. It's more compact with search terms in a series of blocks. This appears to be the default for a few users, but everyone can try it with a little keyboard trickery.

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Nice Bing Search update adds videos and lyrics for music search, video previews, and other improvements

God bless its heart, Microsoft is trying hard to keep its apps updated and interesting on Android. Some of them are quite popular (50M downloads and above) while others like Bing Search are... hanging on. But that's not for lack of effort.

In the latest Bing update, there are quite a few nice video features being sprinkled in. You can preview videos inline (with sound off) in the search results. You can also tap videos after doing a music search to play them synchronously with the lyrics. And there is a new way to discover videos related to the one you're watching.

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[Revolutionary] Google Allo will let you search all of your conversations... inside the app

One thing has always annoyed me about Hangouts: there's no search option. How can you have a messaging service and not allow people to search through their conversations inside the service?! That's beyond comprehension. Of course there's a way to circumvent it by searching through chats in Gmail. But that neither was intuitive nor made sense unless you were familiar with the feature.

According to screenshots we've received from a test preview version of Allo, Google's new messaging app doesn't suffer from that silly limitation. Search is well implemented and it's universal throughout the app. There's a search icon on the top right of the main screen that lets you look for a contact/group's name (in case you have lots of chats and need to quickly find a specific person/group) or any word(s) inside a chat.

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Google search is offering to add an Olympic coverage shortcut to your home screen

The Rio Olympics are about to kick off, and Google has added some neat glanceable info to search results in preparation for it. You can get instant access to Google's rundown of the happening in Rio with a special shortcut. It's not available in your app drawer, though. Just search for something related to the Olympics, and Google will offer to make the shortcut.

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Google's Doodle gets fruity with Rio-themed minigames in the Search app

Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro. 2016. Right, now that we've hit all of the ridiculous trademarks claimed by the International Olympic Committee and the cease-and-desist letters are already on their way, we can talk about Google's latest Doodles. As explained on the official Search blog, the company's latest fanciful logo reinterpretations hide a selection of minigames, all of which are rather vaguely themed after the upcoming events in Rio.

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Google+ v8.4 adds avatar photos to comment previews, prepares to let users show off their flair, and may auto-hide NSFW images [APK Teardown + Download]

The updates are flowing steadily today and Google+ is playing along with its own set of tweaks and enhancements. This version looks like it's mostly centered around subtle refinements and closing some old to-do items. The biggest visible change seems to be profile pictures that appear in the comment previews below posts. That doesn't mean there aren't a few other things to check out. A teardown adds to the fun the promise of configurable "flair" on your own profile, tap-to-reveal covers for potentially inappropriate images, and the setup for privacy settings.

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Google Search will better answer voter registration questions for the upcoming US election

In case you missed it, there's a national election approaching here in the US. I know, it's understandable if you mistook the nonstop campaigning for our idea of good TV. It might as well be. But one way or another, years of campaigning are about to come to an end... for a few days before starting back up again.

Despite holding elections every year or so for hundreds of years, the process is still a messy one. Each state has its own requirements and rules for registering to vote. I majored in political science, and I have to search to figure out some of this stuff.

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