Just over two weeks into 2017 and there's already a second beta update to the Google app rolling out to users. The previous version didn't present with any notable new features, but it did leave some clues about future updates. The latest update is also packed with nuggets of future improvements, but it also adds at least one feature for people that have to search internationally from time to time. This update is currently rolling out to users signed up to the beta program, but if you want to pick it up separately, there is a download link at the bottom. Read More
Sometimes Google makes useful apps and services, and sometimes it just shows off. Chrome Experiments are mostly about showing off. They're excuses for Google to demo the cutting edge technologies it is working on behind the scenes. The latest Chrome experiment is Land Lines, which takes your doodles and matches them up with real locations from Google Earth. Read More
Google likes to continually tweak the interface and features of its tools and apps, especially the most widely-used ones. Today an Android Police reader spotted new search suggestions in the Play Store, in a way that's familiar for general Google searches but hasn't actually been seen on Android's app listing yet. The new UI element shows suggested additions to your search term after the query has been entered - not to be confused with search suggestions that expand from the bar itself. Read More
Android Auto users were given a pleasant surprise when v6.9 of the Google app enabled the 'OK Google' activation phrase while driving (for many people). We haven't spotted any other visible changes with this release, but there are some interesting things buried in the apk that are also worth checking out. It looks like the search bar's autocomplete is about to gain some new tricks and there's a new (or at least improved) native image viewer in development that appears to have custom support for some of Google's custom search results. Read More
Have you noticed the Google "pill" widget on the Pixel launcher doesn't bear much resemblance to the traditional search box? Well, it looks like Google is changing that. Several users have noticed a new search box design popping up on their devices. It's curvier and cleaner looking. Read More
Google has long offered related searches at the bottom of search results, but this is a bit different. The above widget, which now appears for some users when you tap on a search result and then go back, shows relevant searches to whatever page you tapped on.
As opposed to the related search results at the bottom of each results page, this appears directly under whatever link you picked. Considering the vast amount of searches I do on my phone don't require me to scroll all the way down to the bottom, it makes sense to add recommendations directly into results. Additionally, the results seem to be tailored to the link itself, as opposed to being based on your query. Read More
Google has been working to bring more and more functionality directly into search results, without the user having to visit a separate site. You can now find your IP address, run a speed test, convert units, and more all from Search. Following that trend, now Google has added an RGB to Hex converter.
If you're unfamiliar, RGB and Hex are both color spaces used to identify colors. For example, #000000 in Hex and (0,0,0) in RGB both refer to Black. Searching 'RGB to Hex' brings up a simple color picker that shows results in RGB and Hex. You can search any Hex or RGB value, and it will show the color in both formats. Read More
It's no secret that Android is heavily integrated with Google search. Google Now (soon to be Google Assistant) is the primary voice assistant, and Google search is included on every device with the Google Play Store. According to Reuters, Google also pays device manufacturers to keep Google as the only search application on Android devices, and the European Union isn't thrilled.
EU antitrust regulators are ordering Google's parent company, Alphabet, to cease providing incentives to keep Google search installed exclusively on Android devices. A 150+ page EU document outlines the issue, stating that Google "cannot punish or threaten" manufacturers for not complying with its conditions. Read More
The latest version of Google's Android app has done away with the Google Now branding, but there's something else lurking inside v6.5. That "In Apps" feature that was first officially announced a few weeks ago and mentioned alongside the LG V20 unveiling has showed up. As the name implies, it lets you search inside your apps more easily. Read More
If you have never heard of Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, it's exactly what it sounds like. AMP documents are minimal web pages, with the same basic HTML syntax, designed to load as quickly as possible (even at the cost of some functionality). Web developers can create AMP versions of their webpages, with Google mirroring every page on its own servers for the quickest load times possible. For example, here is the AMP version (left) and normal mobile site (right) from Forbes:
What you can't see is that the AMP page loaded in under a second, and the Forbes page took about 20 seconds. Read More