Improved Google Search for BlackBerry 6.0 devices

Thursday, June 30, 2011 | 2:15 PM

Today we’ve updated the Google search experience for BlackBerry 6.0 WebKit enabled devices. We’ve added a number of enhanced search features integrated throughout the homepage and search result pages, making searching faster and easier on www.google.com, especially on touch-enabled Blackberry devices.



Left: Improved homepage with autocomplete and search history as you type.
Right: See more information with search options and enhanced results.

  • Enter searches faster: Save time by using autocomplete and search history queries that appear beneath the search box as you type.
  • Web search: Find what you're searching for fast. Comprehensive results pages let you see relevant websites, images, videos, news, real-time results and more. Simply click on the arrow button ‘>>’ to the left of the top search box for more refinement options.
  • Image search: Swipe through image results quickly and easily on touch enabled devices. Start by selecting ‘Images’ at the top of www.google.com, then enter a search. From there, click on any image to view a larger size.
  • Local search: Find restaurants, shops and other popular business categories with a single tap. Start by selecting ‘Places’ at the top of www.google.com, then click on an icon from the Places homepage.

These features and more are available on most RIM OS 6.0+ devices with WebKit browsers like the BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry Bold 9780, and can be accessed in 20 languages across 70 countries.

To try out the new features, go to www.google.com in your mobile browser. We recommend that you bookmark Google Search to your phone’s home screen, so that Google search is just one click away.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collection comes alive with Google Goggles

Monday, June 27, 2011 | 1:40 PM

The Google Goggles team has worked with The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles to “Goggles-enable” their permanent collection of paintings. You can use the Google Goggles app on your phone to take a photo of a painting from the collection and instantly access information about it from the Getty’s mobile-optimized website and the rest of the web. It's possible to fit only a small amount of information on the wall next to a painting but visitors with Goggles can now enjoy the full story online.

Google Goggles results and the Getty webpage for Portrait of the Sisters Bonaparte

Learn more on the Official Google Blog.

Google Sites owners: Sites now auto-optimizes for mobile devices

Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 9:04 AM

As the dramatic growth of the mobile web changes the way people consume content, it’s becoming increasingly important for publishers to provide a good mobile experience. With this in mind, we just added automatic mobile rendering in Google Sites for iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices, and a mobile version of the Google Sites lists. Learn more on the Google Docs blog.

Posted by Luciano Cheng, Software Engineer

Google Goggles learns Russian and gets a new view

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 | 9:15 AM

Some of you may already be using the new optical character recognition (OCR) and translation of Russian in Google Goggles that we previewed at last week’s Inside Search event. Starting today, we’re pleased to introduce some additional new features, including a map view of your Search History and the ability to copy contact and text results to the clipboard. We’ve also changed the results interface to make it easier to view and navigate through your results.

Russian optical character recognition (OCR) and translation
Since Google Goggles first launched in 2009, it has been able to recognize and translate text in a number of different languages, as long as the language used Latin characters. With the launch of OCR for Russian, Goggles is now able to read Cyrillic characters. Goggles will recognize a picture of Russian text and allow you to translate the text into one of over 40 other languages. Russian OCR is also available for users of Google Goggles on the Google Search app for iOS. Очень полезно!

You can take a picture of Russian text and translate it into over 40 languages.


Map view of your search history
If you’ve enabled search history on Goggles, your history contains a list of all the images that you’ve searched for, as well as some information about where you performed the search if you chose to share your location with Google. Sometimes this can be a pretty long list, so we wanted to give you another way to sort and visualize your Goggles results.

We’ve added a map view, which shows your Goggles image search history on a map so you can quickly zoom and pan to find a query from a particular location.

Easily toggle between map view and list view with the button in the upper right.


Copy contact and text results to clipboard
Finally, imagine that you wanted to grab a URL or telephone number from a sign and email it to yourself. Now, Goggles gives you the option of copying the recognized text to your phone’s clipboard, allowing you to paste the test into a number of applications.

To try these new features download Google Goggles 1.5 from Android Market, or scan the QR code below with your phone.


Three new updates to Google Sync for iPhone and iPad

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 10:36 AM

(Cross-posted on the Google Enterprise Blog)

We don’t have to tell you that the workforce is increasingly mobile, and that workers on the go expect to be fully productive on email and calendar from their mobile devices. But we do want to tell you that we have a few new features for Google Sync users that will help employees work efficiently from anywhere on their iPhones and iPads.

Google Sync keeps your phone’s native mail and calendar apps in sync with your Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. Today, three new updates to Google Sync for iOS will allow you to:

  • Search all your emails in Gmail, not just the emails stored locally by the iOS mail app.



  • Accept, decline or edit calendar events from the iOS calendar app.

  • Send email from the address you want. We recognize that some of you manage multiple email addresses from a single Gmail account.Gmail’s “Send Mail as” feature lets you send messages with another email address listed as the sender instead of your Gmail address, e.g. joe@altostrat.com instead of joe@gmail.com. Now the iOS mail app will respect these settings.
These three updates are available to both Gmail and Google Apps email accounts.
For more information, visit Setting up Google Sync with your iOS device

Posted by Steve Hardt, Software Engineer

Introducing new features to mobile search

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | 11:04 AM

Our thirst for knowledge extends beyond the time we spend in front of our desktop computers. At Google, we are seeing mobile search grow at an exponential rate, increasing five-fold worldwide in just the past two years - a rate comparable to the early days of desktop Google Search. Today on mobile, we can get whatever information we’re looking for anytime, anywhere.

And I'm not just talking about looking up basic information like the weather or a stock quote, which is what people used to do in the early days of mobile search. As mobile devices have become more powerful and connected to faster networks, smartphone users are doing a surprisingly diverse set of search tasks -- from simple lookups, to tasks that involve multiple complex searches.

But it's not always easy to search from a mobile device, especially with the smaller screens and keyboards. We’ve worked relentlessly to make mobile search faster, easier, and more intuitive with features like autocomplete, Voice Search, Google Goggles, Google Instant and Instant Previews on mobile. Our work in mobile has now inspired desktop innovations like Voice Search and Search by Image, two new ways to search from your desktop, announced today at our Inside Search media event. We’re also excited to introduce two new mobile features designed to make mobile search even better.

With more searches happening when people are on the go, we’ve noticed an increase in searches for nearby places. To make it easier for people to search for what’s around them, we’ve introduced new shortcuts to commonly searched local categories, like restaurants, coffee shops and bars, in the form of icons on the mobile google homepage (www.google.com):




Shortcut icons appear at the bottom of the mobile homepage. Tap “More”, to select from additional popular categories like shopping, ATMs, gas stations, etc., a new part of our simplified Places homepage (www.google.com/m/places).


On the results page, you'll see a map with markers for your current location and places around you. When you scroll through the results, the map remains at the top of the page and adjusts automatically to the listing you are looking at. That way, you can see the listing information while still getting location context from the map. Tapping on a result will quickly show you more about a place including reviews and other useful details. Discovering great places nearby has never been easier on your mobile phone.




Another mobile improvement we’ve introduced today is an easier way to build longer, more complicated searches. You can now add suggested phrases to the search box and “build” your search piece by piece. This feature is already available on the Google Search app for Android and iOS devices and we’re now making this available on www.google.com from your mobile browser. Watch the video below to see how you can search faster with less typing.





These new mobile features are now available on www.google.com on Android (version 2.2+) and iOS (version 4.0+) in 40 languages worldwide.

If you would like to learn more about today’s announcements, visit the Inside Search website, our new one-stop shop for Google search tips, features and an under the hood look at our technology. Check the site later today and you’ll find a recording of the event, answers to common questions and links to other blogs posts today on the Official Google Blog, Inside Search blog and the Chrome blog.

We hope you enjoy these new search features and we look forward to bringing you further improvements by making mobile search even faster, easier, and more useful.

Know when your bus is late with live transit updates in Google Maps

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | 4:00 AM


(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

Often when I’m taking public transit, I arrive at my stop on time only to anxiously check my watch and look down the street for my bus, which is running late once again. Those extra minutes I’m forced to wait seem like an eternity, and the only information I can access on my phone is when the bus was supposed to arrive.

Starting now, Google Maps for mobile and desktop can tell you when your ride is actually going to arrive with new live transit updates. We partnered with transit agencies to integrate live transit data in four U.S. cities and two European cities: Boston, Portland, Ore., San Diego, San Francisco, Madrid and Turin.



When you click on a transit station or plan a transit route with Google Maps and there are delays or alerts related to your trip, you’ll now see “live departure times” (indicated with a special icon) and service alerts.



Live transit departure times after tapping on a station



Live service alerts when receiving transit directions



Live departures and alerts on desktop


We’re working with our public transit partners to help them provide live data to more people in more cities. You can get live transit updates in the latest version of Google Maps for mobile (requires Android 1.6+), as well as Google Maps on all supported desktop and mobile browsers.