Google has announced a set of new features for its mobile and desktop search products at an event called “Inside Search” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
The desktop version of Google search includes the following features:
Voice Search allows you to speak to your search engine. You will have to click on a microphone icon next to search field, and speak whatever you want to search. Smartphones already have this feature for a long time, and now desktop users will also be able to use it. The only drawback is its browser compatibility — only Chrome supports it for now.
Search By Image:
This feature will allow Google users to drag drop image into the search bar, and Google will return what the image represents and locate any similar images.
If you click the camera, you can upload any picture or plug in an image URL from the web and ask Google to figure out what it is. Try it out when digging through old vacation photos and trying to identify landmarks.
Google Instant Pages is actually a new version of Google Instant. It will help reduce load time by preloading pages which are likeliest to be clicked by the user. The prediction mechanism for this feature hasn’t been explained by Google.
For the time being, this feature will be supported by Google Chrome only.
All these new features for desktop computers will be rolled out over the next few weeks.
The mobile version of Google search include features like translation for Google Goggles that allows an instant translation of the text when you point your phone at a text in Russian, for instance. Moreover, the mobile version also gets a new Google search interface with instantly accessible icons at the bottom.
Google also released a graph showing mobile vs desktop searches over the past 3 years.
In the past two years, mobile search traffic has grown five-fold. Mobile search today is growing at a comparable pace to Google in the early years.