Google Now Like-Quick Answers Come to Desktop Search
The lines between desktop and mobile devices continue to blur with a new post published on the Google Official Blog announcing the arrival of Google Now-like quick answers in Google Search, not just on smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices but on desktop PCs and laptops as well.
The move signals further unification among Google’s interface on various devices, which makes sense – after all, why should you have to adjust your search habits based on the hardware you’re using when the software remains the same?
Immediate Answers Based on Your Gmail, the Web and More
The new Google blog post gives some great examples of the types of questions to which you can receive instant answers based on information found in your Google+ account, your Google Calendar and even your Gmail, as well as the web at large.
If you enter a query like “my purchases,” you’ll be shown the status of all your pending orders and see when they’ll arrive, whether they’re from a major retailer like Amazon or a tiny boutique you paid via PayPal. Entering a query related to “my flights” will give you instant information on your upcoming flights, including whether to expect delays. Keeping on the travel and shopping theme, you can search for “my reservations” to see anything you’ve booked at a hotel or restaurant, and you’ll only be one click away from getting driving directions.
You can go more general too with a query like “my plans for next week” to see a list of everything coming up on your Google Calendar, including concerts, hotels, flights, or dinner dates.
You actually won’t even need to type these queries, as the service will work with voice as soon as it’s rolled out for U.S.-English users over the next week or so.
Although you might be worried about security with a service that draws information from your Google+, Gmail and Google Calendar accounts, Google says not to bother. All data will be transferred via a secure, encrypted connection, and it will only work when you’re actually signed into your Google account. You can turn the feature off for a single search session with just a click, or turn it off permanently in your search settings.