Google iOS App Update Brings 'Smart Answers' and 'Trending Searches'

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Google added a couple of new features to its flagship iOS app on Friday, one of which shows searches that are trending in a user's geographical location before they begin typing into the search field.

Following yesterday's update, whenever a user taps on a search box to start a search, a dropdown menu shows "Trending Searches" indicated by a blue jagged arrow icon next to them, contrasting them from gray icons that mark out the user's search history. In our testing, trending searches didn't show up in some locations, so it's possible Google is still rolling out support on its servers.

Trending Searches appeared last year on Android, but the change prompted a number of user complaints that led Google to make the feature optional. Fortunately, iOS users can find the same opt-out toggle on the Settings screen by tapping their account profile in the upper left of the Search interface.

Apart from that, Google says the search box has gotten smarter, in that now users can often get the answer they're looking for before they've even finished typing in the question, with possible answers appearing in the suggestions below. For example, typing in "how fast is a chee" immediately displays a cheetah's land speed (110-120 km/h, for those interested).

The feature additions come on the back of Google's recent introduction of a personalized news feed for the app, offering a stream of content based on user search history and topics they choose to follow. The feed replaced Google Now, the company's predictive search feature that displays traffic updates, weather, and other information, all of which has been moved to a new tab called Updates.

The Google app is a free download for iPhone and iPad on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Google

Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago
It bothers me that prompting a query to my iPhone with "OK Google" returns far more successful results than "Hey Siri" ever does.

I don't know if that's down to Apple's privacy concerns (and Google's lack of them) or just basic managerial incompetence. Hopefully now with Federighi at the Siri helm things will change pretty swiftly.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
Google has not done research on every known topic. Instead it automates a search and scans the top results in order to offer a quote from the page that is likely to answer the question. The word for this feature is theft. Instead of letting the user go to the page and see the content and ads of the publisher, users see Google's ads and someone else's work.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago


Apart from that, Google says the search box has gotten smarter, in that now users can often get the answer they're looking for before they've even finished typing in the question, with possible answers appearing in the suggestions below. For example, typing in "how fast is a chee" immediately displays a cheetah's land speed (110-120 km/h, for those interested).

How fast is a chee...
*110-120 km/h*
...seburger eaten in my house?

Oh alright, you really are quite clever Google, that's very accurate, I apologise for doubting you.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
I've never been a fan of Google finishing my sentence, so to speak. Just let me type out the damn query completely before ramming distracting suggestions in my face. So either turn off java script, or use another search engine. As for this app? They're doubling down on their most annoying feature m. No thank you google, I'll do my own thinking.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
We will be seeing a lot of new stuff being pushed out by the competitors before Sept 12 especially from Google.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago

When google app was first released, I did not see what the point was, as you can search and do other things on safari and save space by not having the google app on the iPhone. Only recently I started using it and never looked back. I highly recommend it. Although I would prefer that it had an Adblock or something from redirecting which prevents you from viewing the page!

I second this... I find myself using it a lot for quick searches (even have the app in my iPhone dock). Rarely search in Safari tab any longer. It is an extra step to open a page found via the Google app in Safari (if you want to strip ads, use Reading Mode etc.); but in most cases, I just find the info I need and get out.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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