Google Search Fact Checking Feature Goes Live

Google Search Fact Checking

After testing for several months, the new fact checking feature in Google Search has now been enabled for everyone.  The new feature is rolling out now and it could take a few days for everyone to receive it.  Just make sure you are running the latest version of the Google app on your Android phone.  The new feature is pretty straightforward in how it works.  Type in a search as you would normally do and if it is a search on a topic that has been fact checked, you will see a link below your search results with a source and if the fact is true, mostly true, mostly false or false.

If you want to check the validity of the facts, you can tap that link to go to the source and do your investigating on if it is really true or not.  For their part, Google is trying to bubble up this information quickly & easily so you don’t have to do a lot of tapping around to check the facts of a story.

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Get Fun Facts on Google Search

Cat Fun Facts in 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.

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Google Search Now Can Queue Offline Search Requests

College Scorecard Results in Google Search

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Google Brings Natural Language Search to Google Drive

Google has made a significant change in the background on Google Drive, bringing natural language processing to the search feature of the web-based part of the service.  Essentially what you can now do is search for things using natural language instead of specific file names.  This is the same technology that is used in Google Search to help you find things in a more natural language style.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.” You can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” or “show me presentations from Anissa.” Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Drive NLP will get better with each query — so keep on searching. 😉

This new feature is likely to be a big time saver for those who have a lot of files in Drive.

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