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search shortcuts


Google makes Search shortcuts official, helps you find information quicker

Right before the avalanche of Android O news yesterday, Google made one small announcement that we had our eyes on but never really got around to writing: Search shortcuts are now official.

You may remember we first spotted them last September when they had a very distinct circular look, then we saw a newer iteration in November when the circle was ditched but the icons began opening up to more actions, and finally this most recent look started popping up in our tips inbox over the past few weeks. So some of you may already have seen the new Search shortcuts over the last weeks, others will probably start seeing them now.

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Google is testing a new layout for hints and search shortcuts

There's always a Google A/B test going on in the background to figure out what could get users to better discover options or take them to what they're looking for faster. One of these tests was a series of search shortcuts that had a very distinct circle design in the Google Now (now known as Feed) page right below the search bar. That interface didn't spread to a wider user base, but it appears that Google is still toying with the idea, albeit in a different look.

Below are a couple of screenshots from two different users who are seeing these shortcuts or hints below the search bar.

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Google Is Testing Quick Contact Shortcuts In The Main Search Interface

You may have noticed that if you search for someone you know in the main Google Search app on Android, their name will automatically appear if they're already in your Google Contacts. Those search results might get a bit more useful soon: at least one user spotted some advanced quick shortcuts added to his contacts in the Search bar. As shared on Google+, James Scott Jr. saw links to call, text, or email some of his contacts right there in the search results.

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