Google unveiled some new search features today at its “Inside Search” press conference. From mobile, to voice and image search, to new instant search features, many key aspects of the Google search experience have received a makeover.
New Mobile Search Features
Mobile search icons for local search: The Google home page for mobile devices will have icons for “Restaurants,” “Bars,” “Coffee,” and more so that users can search locally with just a click.
Google Instant for mobile: Queries that users search for frequently will begin to show up as suggestions below. For example, if a user often searches for “S&P,” typing in “s” will pull up the proper query below. Also, maps and results will appear in a split screen, with the maps changing as the user scrolls through different results.
Query builder: If a user enters in “Hilton,” a plus button next to the query will let them see further suggestions for deeper search, like “hotel” and “Moscow.”
Mobile Instant previews: For search, users can see full previews of pages before choosing to click on one.
New user interface for tablet search: The Google search interface will be optimized for tablets, with bigger images and easier to click results.
Google Goggles with Translate: Google Googles will now let users translate foreign languages as they appear in the real world. For example, if a user takes a picture of a signboard in Russian, the phone translates those words into English.
According to Google, mobile speech input has grown by a factor of six in the past year, with two years of speech inputted into mobile search each day.
Voice Search on desktop: Users who browse via Chrome can talk to their Google page and ask for things like “pictures of jellyfish” or “recipe for vegetable lasagna” and the site will return results as if the user had typed it into the page. At the press conference, Googlers even demonstrated a very complicated voice search query: “How do I say how do I get a cheeseburger in this neighborhood in Spanish?”
Search by Image on desktop: Chrome users can now drag an image into the search box and figure out information from that image. For example, a picture of a man on an island will return results about what island it is, as well as similar looking images. Or, a blurry picture of a logo will return what exactly that logo means.
Google Images with Instant: Google Instant, which gives users results as they are typing the query, will be rolled out to Google Image Search. As users type into the search box for images, relevant images will appear and change as the user continues to enter the query.
Google Instant Pages: For some pages, results will load in under a second, as opposed to a few seconds. Google showed off the new feature by loading pages simultaneously on Google with and without the feature enabled. While the “old” Google took a few seconds (Google says the average page takes five seconds to load), the Instant Pages-enabled Google loaded in less than a second.
Google Instant will also be rolled out to 32 languages and over 69 domains for both desktop and mobile.
Search by image is currently available via Chrome and Firefox extensions. Query builder, mobile search icons, Google Goggles Translate, and the new user interface for mobile local search are also launching today.