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google search

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Google Search Lite, the low-data alternative to Search, updated to V0.2 with a few minor tweaks [APK Download]

A couple months back we heard that Google was testing a new Search Lite app. It appeared to be targeting the Indonesian market, and — as the "lite" name would suggest — it's meant to use a bit less data, working better on a slower connection than the old search app. Now it's been updated to version 0.2, and it's brought a tweaked layout with it. 

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Google starts asking for audience reviews in movie search results

Late last year, Google started showing like and dislike buttons on movie and TV shows' search results card. That allowed it to add its own ratings next to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. But it was only a percentage of likes based on how many people tapped the thumbs up or down icon, so it didn't provide any context or explanation to the rating, thus making users head elsewhere for a more detailed opinion.

Now it appears that Google is testing a more elaborate rating system with full reviews. You can still like/dislike the movie, but if you scroll down you might also spot a new "Audience reviews" section.

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Google is testing a new search suggestions design and it looks cluttered

What's another week without another Google app server-side test that few will see and even fewer will like? In today's edition, we have a new search suggestions look in the Google app and search widget: blue words inside a rounded rectangle (TIL the shape is called a stadium) at the bottom of the search suggestions overlay.

We've only received reports of this design from two readers, so it doesn't look to be widespread and that's a good thing in my opinion. If you see the search overlay in the image above, you'll notice there's the suggestion based on the user's search history (clock icon), the ones based on Google's search algorithms (search icon), and then the blue word bubbles that have 2 duplicate suggestions from the ones above.

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"Hey Google, what's 6lb 4oz in kilograms?"

Google does a lot of things right, but sometimes, it's the most minute errors that we take notice of. Specifically, Google Assistant, Google Home, and Google Search seem to have some problems with rounding when converting from pounds/ounces to kilograms. And since Home actually speaks responses, it makes for one pretty funny video.

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Your local library's eBooks now appear in Google search

Big readers on a small budget have always had a hard time. Library waiting lists can get pretty long, and sometimes titles aren't even available locally. But today Google added a new feature to its search that helps library patrons everywhere. Now the next time you search for a book title, you can see if the e-book is available to borrow from your library. 

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Business owners can now manage their listings via a dashboard right in Google Search

When I'm looking for information on a local store (and I'm sure many of you guys do the same), I head straight to Google Search. It usually has the correct address, phone number, operating hours, accurate reviews, etc. But Google isn't perfect, and sometimes there'll be some incorrect info listed. To alleviate this, our favorite Mountain View-based company has just introduced a dashboard for business owners right in Google Search.

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Google is making it easier to find a good deal for your next vacation

In its quest to make our lives easier, Google has recently taken on the travel industry by giving us search tools for flights and hotels, as well as an app to help us plan and organize trips we've already booked. Google Search already shows when a slight adjustment to travel dates can save us money, but now it's adding more robust tools for people whose travel dates are more flexible.

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Google rolling out auto-playing video previews in Search

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.

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[Update: APK Download] Google is testing a new Search Lite app for slow networks

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.

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Pollen forecasts are now available in the Google app

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.

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