Google unveils a host of new features

Yield Software · December 8, 2009 · Short URL:

…and innovations galore!

Google's Popeye LogoAt Google's Search Event in Mountain View, earlier this week, the company unveiled a number of impressive innovations — further evidence, if any was needed, that Google is not content to rest on its laurels.

In the “gee-whiz” category is the all-new “Google Goggles” feature, available via its Android operating platform for mobile devices.

Google Goggles lets Android-powered phones with cameras snap a picture, which it then interprets.

For instance, snap a pic of a bottle of wine, and Goggles brings you reviews for it; snap a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge and get location, Wikipedia and other information; take a picture of text and Goggles uses optical character recognition (OCR) to complete a search for the keywords present.

In the “on-the-go” category, Google has improved its mobile application in three powerful ways: voice, location, and the above-mentioned Goggles feature. On the voice front, it now takes in-depth vocal queries and Google says it returns more accurate results than past efforts.

In terms of Location, Google Mobile’s new homepage will now include search guidance based on location. For instance, if you enter a search query for a product and your location, Google will return mobile search results that include the inventory available of the product at stores close to your location. Add to that Google’s new “Near Me Now” feature, which displays nearby restaurants or ATMs or movie theaters, and you’ll never be without something to do no matter where you may find yourself. Finally, Google’s new version of Mobile Maps for Android is also integrated.

Last, but not least, in the “I want it now” category, Google has officially integrated real-time search with its indexed information. At the event, Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted something via Twitter while the presenter was demonstrating the new search capability, and the tweet streamed into the results page instantly. In addition to tweets from Twitter, Google will also look at blogs, Facebook updates and MySpace feeds, among other real-time data sources.

To see real-time results in your search results, select the “Latest” option from the “Show Options” sidebar in search results pages.

Google will also show real-time trends, and has now officially moved its Trends feature from Google Labs into their main search product. Google Trends could be the ultimate tool for keeping your fingers on the pulse of the global zeitgeist.

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