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Google Flights on desktop has been updated to match the mobile redesign

Back in the summer, we reported on key changes to Google Flights on mobile. The interface was tweaked with more powerful tools to help you save money when looking to book a holiday within a range of dates. At the time Google promised the desktop version would see a similar update later in the year, and that has now become available in the form of a beta version.

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Google might be reinstating 'Quick view' in search results after a four-year hiatus

Search engine enthusiasts with their fingers on the pulse may remember an old Google feature called 'Quick view.' We wrote about it being tested for Wikipedia articles all the way back in 2013, and it seemed destined to be used for other websites, too. Google decided to kill it just a couple of months later, without reason, but it seems it could be coming back in a new guise.

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Restaurant wait times are coming soon to Google Search and Maps

Nobody likes waiting at a restaurant, especially when the default response is "5-10 minutes" and the actual wait time is significantly longer. To alleviate this, Google has announced that both Search and Maps will soon feature wait times for hundreds of thousands of sit-down restaurants, enabling you to plan your meals ahead.

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Google's rounded mobile search redesign is now rolling out to everyone

Google isn't one to rest on its laurels when it comes to the UX of its apps and sites. The company is continually testing different looks as it tries to keep up with the ever-changing design landscape and make its products as easy to use as possible. Search is still the company's bread and butter, and accordingly, it gets A/B tested more than most other properties. These latest changes have been tested to varying extents in recent months, and from the numerous tips we've had it seems they're being rolled out more-widely now. Let's take a look at what's new.

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Google's predictive search suggestions could be getting a makeover, with new thumbnail images and descriptions

When you search with Google on your device, either with the home screen search box/pill, in the Google feed pane, or directly in the Google app, you'll often see predictive search suggestions as you type your query. These come not only from the web, but from your contacts, songs in your Play Music account, and so on. The web suggestions are usually indicated simply by a magnifying glass icon, but this could be about to change.

According to a tip we received on Google+, it appears that Google is trialing additional information for search predictions. As you can see from the screenshots below, thumbnail images and descriptions of each item are showing for our tipster.

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Google Image Search on mobile is getting an updated UI

Google doesn't tend to rest on its laurels when it comes to the design of its search interface, be it in the Google app or in browser, and it's always testing new ways to make search results easier for users to navigate and in turn generate those all-important clickthroughs. A couple of months ago badges were added to make it easier to find recipes and products, and now further changes have been made that make the image search UI a little clearer.

It's when you tap on a result that things change. The new design includes an "X" in the top left corner to go back to the image search results, the same as would happen if you hit the back button.

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Redesigned Google app UI could arrive with new Pixels, including bottom navigation bar and dedicated Lens button

The Google app and its feed, formerly Google Now, have been through a plethora of changes recently, and they could be about to see another redesign alongside the launch of the new Pixel phones. The whole interface looks like it's going to be tweaked, with more rounded corners on cards and new menu navigation.

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[Update: Also live outside the US for some] Google Search Lite app appears to be available in the US for some

In August we heard that Google was following the recent trend and testing a lite version of its Search app aimed at users with slow data connections. Search (Test App) has only been available in Indonesian and Indian markets while being tested, but it was updated to a newer version a couple of days ago, and now it appears to be available in the US for some.

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VLC stable sees first major update in a year (v2.5) including an improved UI, search changes, support for Android Auto and PiP

Popular media player VLC just updated the stable branch of its Android app to 2.5, and it's one of the biggest updates in recent memory. This latest update has a dynamic new UI that better fits with Material Design guidelines, PiP mode, Android Auto support, 360-degree video support, and search improvements (including Google search integration), among a ton of other smaller features. As the first major release in over a year, we've been looking forward to it for quite a while. 

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Google app now has home screen shortcuts for entertainment, sports, and more

Google has been fiddling with the layout and options in the Feed for a couple months, and some users are seeing an interesting new option appear. In certain Feed categories, Google offers to create home screen shortcuts so you can get back to that section without even visiting the Feed.

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