Google on Android: Search

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 | 5:27 PM

On September 23, T-Mobile announced the world's first Android-powered phone, the G1. The phone comes preloaded with Search, Maps, Gmail with Contacts, Calendar, Google Talk, and YouTube. The applications are easy to use, fully synchronized with the web, and work together in new and innovative ways, as explained in our first post in the blogseries: 'Google on Android'. Over the next couple of weeks, we will put the spotlight on each one of the Google applications for Android. Today: Search. -- Marc Vanlerberghe, Product Marketing Director.

Google's mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Android-powered phones are designed to support the second part of that mission -- universally accessible and useful -- by making Search an integrated, easy-to-use, and platform-wide feature.

We've integrated Search with applications in a variety of ways, in order to make it universally accessible. Every searchable application includes a Search menu option. Some applications (like Maps) support type-to-search. Just start typing, and Maps will automatically open the Search UI for you! Some applications (like Android Market) have Search buttons, while others have Search widgets (like the home screen). Finally, on the T-Mobile G1, there's even a dedicated Search key on bottom row of the keyboard. Just press it and start typing your query.

We've made Search easier to use by providing suggestions. As you type, the list of suggestions refines itself, and you'll immediately jump to that search with a simple touch. There are two types of suggestions on the T-Mobile G1. Google web searches use Google Suggest technology to offer relevant, up-to-date suggestions. Other applications, like YouTube or Gmail, suggest queries you've previously made so that it's easier to find and share results that you've found before. I've even used recent query suggestions to start a search without any typing at all.

Also, we've integrated search across the platform so that applications can even share search capabilities with each other. For example, as Marc noted in his blog post, the music player can use other apps, like the browser or YouTube, to search for artist info, more music, or even music videos.

Finally, we've made it easy for third party developers to incorporate search into their applications, too. We've provided an easy-to-use API, documentation, sample code, and everything else a developer needs to implement basic searchability -- with recent query suggestions -- in their apps. What's more exciting to me is that developers can improve upon search as well. Maybe someone will find and provide new sources of searchable knowledge, or serve "mind reading" suggestions, or display search results in a more informative and beautiful way? I can't wait to see what developers come up with!

To see Google search on Android in action, check out this video:


Saradha Ramadoss Group said...

Looks interesting. Are these available in the current 1.0 sdk? If the API Demos are enhanced to include these examples, it would be wonderful. Thanks.

Michael said...

wow. thats genius having the phone sync'd to your gmail account online.

i want this phone!!!

Buddymob said...

Wow I must say that this widget is way cool!!! It seems pretty sleek and easy to use

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I love how it parses the results for phone numbers. I so could have used this on my last trip.

- Henson