Google is always testing one or two little things in search results, but this is a more significant change. We're starting to see the option to install apps from inside Google search results without opening the Play Store. Not everyone is getting this yet, but enough are that it's probably in the early stages of a wide rollout.
When you take that metaphorical first step onto your Android homescreen, the Google search bar is the first thing you see. It floats atop the screen like a banner, saying to the world: "Google made this, also tap on me because I do stuff."
As it turns out, Google is experimenting with making the search bar do more such stuff. In addition to search results, some users are seeing extra options in the dropdown that appears when they perform a search. Read More
Touch to Search, which enables users to highlight a single word or line of text in the mobile version of Chrome and instantly search for that text in Google, is pretty neat. It was introduced in the beta build of Chrome for Android version 38 way back in March of last year. But in the latest versions of the app (including the standard release), it's been curiously absent for many users. Read More
Google Now On Tap is one of those features that sounded great when it was announced, but has failed to live up to the hype now that it's out. It's not going to remain in that state forever, though. Google is already adding new features to On Tap, including some we've already noticed. A blog post on the Inside Search blog lays it all out.
Google Drive is the hub for all of Google's online document editors, so you might end up with a lot of stuff in there. Google is rolling out some improvements to search that will make it easier to find what you're looking for. The updates will apply to the web and Android (and iOS). Read More
Google is continuing to refine what data you can access without ever leaving its browser-based search interface. A few of the more complex options for searching popular culture have now made their way from the desktop to Android, and they've also been given some impressive layout adjustments. According to Google's own search blog, contextual information for music, movies, and television shows will now appear in a dedicated sub-section of Google Search. Some of this was already available, but some of it's definitely new. Read More
When you need to find an image, you probably head straight to Google image search. And if you need to find that image again... you probably do the search again. Well, maybe not anymore. Google has added the ability to "star" images and organize them for easy access later. Read More
Google does things—a lot of things. For two years now, the company has been indexing the content inside of apps. This way it can point you to other Android apps when they can better provide answers to your query than a general website. Google says 40% of searches done on Android bring up app content.
But there remained two issues with this approach. One, Google could only display information from apps that had matching content available on the web. Two, opening results required installing said app if you hadn't done so already.
Now Google will begin showing content that exists only in apps, and it will start offering you the option to stream apps that you don't have installed. Read More
You never needed to phrase a search as a question in order for Google to provide an answer, but that didn't stop many of us from doing so anyway. And this was before smartphones and tablets started prompting us to ask questions using our voice. Fortunately, the habit hasn't stopped Google from telling us what we want to know, and now the search engine is becoming smart enough to understand some of our more complicated questions. Read More