Category: Google Search

Get Fun Facts on Google Search

Sometimes you just need a fun fact.  Whether you are at a party trying to throw out some random trivia or teaching your kids some fun things about animals, flowers or other things, fun facts can be, well, fun, and maybe even educate you at the same time.  Google Search is making it easier to find those fun facts with a improved algorithm that surfaces these types of searches.  If you type in “Cat fun facts”, you will get a highlighted (with larger print) fun fact about cats.  Refresh your search (pull down on the screen on your Android phone) and it will give you a new fun fact.  There is nothing you need to update, it is just something that is now showing up more predominantly in search results.

Most of the fun facts are for animals and plants but you’ll also find some fun vegetable facts too.

Google Search Now Can Queue Offline Search Requests

A great new feature is rolling out to Google Search for Android that will help you be more productive when you are offline.  Now when you do a search and you do not have a data connection (LTE or Wi-Fi), Google Search will queue your search queries and will provide the results back to you when a connection is established.  The idea is that you don’t have to remember to do that search later.  You can do it at the moment, it will queue, and you will get the results once you are back online.

Here is a scenario for you.  Let’s say you are on a flight with no Wi-Fi (I know, animalistic but go with me on this) and you are working on a research project.  You can do a search while you are in airplane mode and Search will queue it up.  You land, take your phone out of airplane mode and you get a notification that your search query has been answer.  It saves you time and you don’t have to try to remember to do the search later.  Do it at the moment and get the results back when you are back online.

Pro Tip: Using Google Search with Your Camera

We all know how powerful Google search is on our devices.  Whether it is by voice or by typing in a search request in the Search bar or in Chrome, getting to information is quick and easy and makes finding out things on the go simple.  But did you know that you can also do a search via the camera built into your Android phone?  It is a feature that has been there since Marshmallow and for a while was limited to the Google Now launcher.  That has gone away and whether you are on a device using the Google camera app or not, it works.  In fact, I tested it out on three different launchers (Google Now, Nextbit Launcher, Action Launcher) and all three allow you to do this type of searching.  I’m assuming it works with any combination but if you find a launcher or camera app which it doesn’t work, let me know so I can update this post.

Keep Up on Election Results in Google Search

[Note:  While comments on this post are welcome, any post regarding one political party or another will be deleted.]

Regardless of where you stand politically, Google Search has you covered tomorrow.  With Americans going to the polls to decide not only the presidential election but multiple Senate, House or Representatives and other local elections, November 4th every four years is an seemingly endless flow of information.  Google is trying to give you a one-stop-shop for all that information.  On your Android Phone you can type in “Election Results” in Google Search and you will be taken to a comprehensive overview of all the election results for the country and your particular state.

Starting when the polls close on Election Day, you will be able to find U.S. election results integrated right into your Google searches in over 30 languages around the world. You’ll also be able to see detailed updates and results of the Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional, Gubernatorial races as well as state-level referenda and ballot propositions.

But, if you want live streaming of information, Google has an answer for you there too.  YouTube.

Google Search Mini Widgets on Android

A pretty nice little feature has been turned on in Google Search for Android, mini widgets.  These new semi-transparent widgets appear just below the search bar to give you quick information like weather, commute information, local information and so forth.  As I have been traveling this week and have enabled this feature, it is actually very handy and I’d encourage readers to enable it on their phones.  Keep in mind it doesn’t show up all the time so even if you have it enabled, you may not see it immediately.

Google Search Now Shows Collage Scorecard Details

Gathering information about colleges can be a daunting task.  While the process is much easier than it was when I was going to university, it is still a bit overwhelming at times trying to sort out admissions rates, tuition costs and other detailed information about universities you may interested in attending.  Google Search is trying to help out.  Late last week it there was a behind-the-scenes update that brings the College Scorecard right into the search results.  Now by searching for a university admissions stats, you no longer get linked to the College Scorecard site or the university site.  Rather, the details are right there in the results so you can quickly process that information and make a more informed decision quicker.

Fashion Week Front and Center in Google Search

Fall Fashion Week is nearly here and Google Search is making it easier than ever to follow the events, fashion houses, designers and, of course, the fashions during the events.  Across the world starting next week and with events in New York, Milan, Paris and London (to name a few), keeping up with all of it can be challenging.  Google Search is aiming to make it just a bit easier.  Starting now you can type in “Fashion Week” in Search and it will bring you designers, top stories and links to information from these events from around the world.

And this year in Google Search on your mobile phone, you can see the latest styles straight from the runway, hear directly from the designers, shop your favorite looks, see the schedule of events, find related news and follow the action like you’re sitting in the front row — or even backstage.

Google has partnered with BFA and firstVIEW to give you a wealth of information about what is going on not only on the runway but behind the scenes, the parties and of course the celebrity sightings. For Search users, you get the benefit of just being able to go one place to get all the information you want on the events around the globe.

Google Search Adds In-App Content Search

Google Search on your Android device just got a whole lot more powerful.  The Search team announced that a new feature named In Apps is now rolling out to the app on Android devices that will allow you to search content within apps installed on your phone.  Now you can search for a contact for example and find that contact along with being able to see all the messages that you have had with that contact in the various apps you have used to contact them.  Perhaps even more useful, you can search for a subject from an email and Search will interrogate Gmail to find that email.  Essentially this new feature eliminates the need to do per-app searching (if that is possible) and takes it to the system level.

Play Solitaire Within Google Search

The Google Search team has added two fun games to Search that you can start playing immediately without any downloads.  On your Android phone, type in Solitaire or tic tac toe and you can immediately start playing the classic games right from within the Search results.  The new additions are just the latest in a series of app-like functionality within the Search app.  Previously information on the US election was added and more recently, detailed information about the Olympics in Rio were just a search away.  Games are nothing new either. You have been able to search flip a coin and get a coin toss from within search results too.  Now you have two more to play.

Google Search Providing Detailed Info for the Rio 2016 Games

With the Rio 2016 Olympic games starting on August 5th, this coming Friday, the need for information and results always goes up and Google Search could be your answer.  Google has announced that Google Search on your Android phone has been updated behind-the-scenes to provide a wealth of information about the games as they happen in Rio.  The good news is this is all done on Google’s end – you don’t have to update your app on your phone.

On Google, searching for information about your favorite athletes and sports, the medal race, or your country’s schedule has never been easier. Pro tip: if you search on the Google app on Android and iOS, you’ll also see an option to get automatic updates on top event and medal wins, so you’ll never miss a beat.

With these changes, Google Search could well be your one-stop to get news and information about what is going on in Rio 2016 and your country’s athletes at the games this year.

Internet Speed Test in Google Search Rolls Out

After being available to a limited number of users, the new Internet Speed Test feature built into Google Search is now available to the rest of us unwashed masses.  There is no app update required but you should be able to go to Google search on your Android phone or tablet and type in “Internet Speed Test” and get the option to use the feature.  Once you tap the Run Speed Test button, a download and upload test of your internet connection will be started.  Once it is completed, you’ll see the results of the test along with a description of what type of performance you can expect with apps or streaming content based on your connection speeds.

Google Search Now Gives Earthquake Information Near You

A small but potentially life saving update has been made to Google Search around earthquakes.  Now you can type in “earthquake” or “earthquake near me” in Search and get instant information about the magnitude of the temblor, its epicenter and survival information all at the top of the search page.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that approximately 500,000 earthquakes occur around the globe each year, 100,000 of which can be felt. Now people who feel the effects of an earthquake can ask Google directly about the disaster and get timely information to help them stay safe.

In the event of an earthquake, searches for “earthquake,” “earthquakes near me” or similar queries will give you an at-a-glance summary about the quake, right at the top of the search page.

With many of us living in earthquake active areas, this type of information can be not just handy but potentially life saving.