Buried among the attention-grabbing hardware announcements and dramatic Google Glass demo are some radical changes being brought about to the Google search on mobile devices! Thus far Google has been looking to compensate for the apparent discomfort of the PC SERP on high-end mobiles including smartphones mostly with voice search and some other marginal ‘fixes’. It finally has taken a defining step toward providing a distinct search experience specifically designed for wireless platforms, which might well bury the ‘old’ awkward mobile SERP.
Enhanced Google search UI and much more
The much familiar smartphone mobile SERP, of course, is still there. It will still be shown in most cases. However, these whole new search capabilities will make the experience more and more cutting-edge. This includes an enhanced Google search UI (carrying the Knowledge Graph for better structured search results), a Siri-like female voice that selectively reads out search results, and Google Now, a capability that will take the users’ key data inputs like calendar, location etc and give them information sans any formal query prompting.
Spoken search results
Part of what the search engine giant is doing with its redefined approach to all-new mobile search is effectively responding to Apple and Siri, a paradigm shift in the manner in which we happen to interact with machines. Partly, the company is just adapting search capability to better fit mobiles. Accordingly, what it has just demonstrated includes a much improved voice search, also carrying offline dictation capability.
Google has also reportedly introduced a ‘female assistant’ for reading back select categories of search results. It didn’t term it an ‘assistant’ and also didn’t name it, merely touted as a logical extension of voice search. The female voice sounds more human and natural than Siri does. Google’s improved voice search, as with Siri, seemingly triggered structured results displayed as what might be described as ‘answer cards’.
What’s new in Google Now
Another element of the whole new mobile search experience is ‘Google Now’, as what Google likes to call. To some extent, it merges with or probably extends the popular ‘assistant’ metaphor. For accessing Google Now, users touch or tap the search box so as to receive contextually relevant data on basis of location, time and your calendar.
Android obviously will know where you are, what time it is, and presumably what currently you are doing if you are making use of Google calendar. It can also provide you with transit information; inform you about travel schedule to your meeting etc. All this form of dynamic content was offered on visually appealing ‘answer cards’ instead of a conventional mobile SERP. In fact, users can swipe away the answer/ information ‘cards’ for the old Google mobile SERP to reappear.
Indeed, Google Now features coupled with some of the other dramatic changes announced will make for a comprehensive mobile search experience, we all are looking forward to….