Google announced a revamp of its mobile search interface, allowing easy access to restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the vicinity of your phone — in effect, cutting further into Yelp’s local search business.
At an event called “Inside Search” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the search giant launched a slew of new features for its mobile and desktop search products.
The mobile version of Google search gets those icons, instantly accessible at the bottom of the search screen. It also gets a new translate feature for Google Goggles, allowing you to point your phone at text in Russian and getting an instant text translation. Both features are launching today.
The desktop version will be rolling out a couple of new features — voice search and drag-and-drop image search. You will be able to click on a microphone icon next to the search bar and speak your query. You will also be able to pull an image into the search bar, and Google will give you its best guess for what that image represents. These features will be rolling out to users over the next week.
Finally, Google Fellow Amit Singhal, who leads Google’s search algorithm and ranking team, announced a new version of Google Instant, called Instant Pages.
With this feature enabled, the top results come pre-loaded, allowing for near-instant page display and shaving vital seconds off the average search. “Speed is still the killer app,” said Singhal. Instant Pages will be rolling out in the Chrome browser only, over the next few weeks.
We’ll be bringing you hands-on looks at all the new Google features, so check back during the day.