I haven't been the biggest fan of Google Images since it removed direct image links, but the service has been working on a few useful features behind the scenes. Starting this week, contextual information about images will appear when you tap on them, similar to what you would get from regular web searches. Read More
A feature in Chrome seems to be rolling out that allows you to tap words on a page and easily see definitions and other knowledge graph details right at the bottom of your screen. The feature doesn't seem to have widely rolled out yet, and it may have been in testing for a while, but it appears to supplement Chrome's previous "tap/touch to search" functionality, which allows you to select words to perform a simple search in a pull-out tab. Read More
Google Search was once merely a place that listed relevant websites depending on your queries, but these days, the engine provides many details right within the results, saving you a few taps and clicks. Google is constantly improving these so-called Knowledge Graph cards, and has now expanded movie and TV show cards with a watchlist feature. Read More
Why does Google have to break all the little things we like to use? For one, the company still hasn't re-enabled the ability for desktop-based Google users to set reminders — it hasn't even acknowledged the problem up to this point. And now, the mobile weather applet is on the fritz with the latest beta of the Google app. Read More
With the growing commercial use of AI, the platforms we use daily are becoming more and more customized. When a social media platform recommends the best content for you, it's distilling out things that you don't like — providing you with that infamous echo chamber effect. Of course, this isn't constrained solely to social networks. Google Search uses AI, as well. In fact, the tech giant has just announced that it's adding several "intelligent" recommendation features to its original product, with a focus on what it calls "longer [search] sessions," that span multiple days. In the announcement blog post, Google calls this a "fundamental transformation" — but is it one that could harm the discovery of different sources and viewpoints? 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
There are a lot of choices for weather apps on Android - you can see the best in Rita El Khoury's roundup from yesterday. But if you prefer to have as few apps on your phone as possible (because Windows RAM-saving behavior dies hard), Google has just improved the built-in weather function of its mobile search. Specifically, the Knowledge Graph function that shows you weather for a specific location now extends for ten days.
It's not a huge change, but it makes it easier to figure out the long-range forecast at a glance. The Search function even allows you to break down the day-by-day forecast by hour with a handy slider. Read More
Performing a Google search for medical information is a crap shoot. It can lead you somewhere filled with quality content, or it can send you down a trail of wildly inaccurate speculation and conjecture (which isn't all that different from performing an Internet search for anything else, really). But now when you turn to Google for questions about certain health conditions, it will dish out relevant information at the top of the search straight from the Knowledge Graph.
So when you perform a search for the likes of frostbite or the measles, Google will touch on information such as symptoms, treatments, whether something is contagious, and which age ranges are the most susceptible. Read More
When you search for certain artists, movies, or figures, Google sticks a card within the results that displays background information all in once place. This way you can potentially get what you need without having to click on a single link. Recently the company started giving video games this same treatment.
When you search for a particular title, Google will toss up such details as a brief history, the developer, release dates, and supported platforms. It will also supplement this text with screenshots. These Knowledge Graph cards show up on desktops and mobile devices alike.
Information appears for games spread across various platforms, including indie PC titles, console hits, and mobile games for Android and iOS. Read More