Google has become invaluable to students and teachers, especially with remote learning becoming a necessity all around the world. Despite some of their shortcomings, the company's tools are generally incredibly helpful, and now, Google has highlighted a few more education-focused features in its core product Search.
When searching for something on Google, you often come across websites you've never visited before. To find out if the source is trustworthy, you can do some additional research via yet another Google search, but the company is looking to make things more comfortable for you. Starting today, you'll see an overflow menu next to most search results that provides additional details on the source you found.
Google is often quick to offer customized search results and other features for topics that affect us all, and this has certainly been the case with coronavirus. With vaccines being rolled out in many countries around the world, related queries are undoubtedly on the rise. To make it easier to access authoritative information, Google is expanding its knowledge panels in search results and is working to show nearby vaccination centers on Maps.
When you run as many services with as many features as Google, bugs tend to pop up from time to time. The latest major bug concerns Google Search's custom date ranges, which are causing tabs to freeze when used. Google is working on fixing this and has presented a workaround for the time being.
You won't have to go to a galaxy far, far away to meet a beloved character who has been an internet sensation since it first featured in Disney's The Mandalorian show last year. Thanks to Google, you can now virtually place a life-sized Grogu — colloquially known as Baby Yoda — right in your room.
Over the weekend, the Google search website briefly turned gray and black for some people who use a dark theme on their desktop computers. It looks like the company was testing a proper dark mode for its desktop website, but by now, it's already disappeared for those who initially got in on the test. If we're not in for another flip-flopping experience á la Google Maps (which had its own dark mode appear and disappear multiple times over the year), we might soon be able to enjoy our web searches dunked in an eye-soothing dark mode.
We're all familiar with the "knowledge panels" that pop up in Google when a famous person's name is searched, but Google has been working on something like this, which it calls "people cards," for us regular people. We first learned about this back in February, when Google published some support pages (that it quickly took down), but the feature officially launched in India in August and is now coming to some African countries as well.
Earlier this year, it came out that Google paid around $1.5 billion in 2019 to be the default search engine on various devices in the UK alone, most of which naturally goes to Apple. Factor in other countries, and it's likely to be a multi-billion dollar deal between the two tech behemoths (the DoJ estimates it at around $8-12 billion). It's a convenient arrangement that goes back more than a decade. Apple gets to serve the best search results to iPhone and iPad users, who in turn get served with Google's ads — everyone wins. Except for consumers, according to US antitrust authorities, and it's this increasing scrutiny that is pushing Apple to develop a competitive search engine of its own.
Google TV is the biggest change to Android TV we've seen in years, and although it may well have its drawbacks, it sounds like it's pretty good at serving you the content you actually want. It also has an easily accessible watchlist that you can add movies and shows from various services. We now know that this list is also integrated with the watchlist feature in Google Search, as well as the wishlist in the Play Store.
Even if stay-at-home orders are slowly lifting all around the globe, we're mostly supposed to stay inside to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. But that shouldn't stop us from exploring things we'd normally see in museums or shops thanks to 3D models available in Google Search on Android and iOS. We've already covered which animals and pets you can lure into your home, but if you and your kids get tired of acting as an amateur zoologist, there is a whole world to explore, starting with planets and space crafts courtesy of NASA over anatomy all the way to shopping for shoes, and most recently, chemistry models.