Google just gave everyone a great reason to use iMessage apps

iMessage just got even more useful.
Image: lili sams /Mashable

Multi-taskers, rejoice:  Google just made it a lot easier to search while texting with friends.

The company just introduced an update that adds an iMessage extension to Google’s iOS app. This means you can search and share results without ever having to leave your current thread.

Now, so long as you have Google’s iOS app installed, Google searches are only a couple taps away whenever you’re in the Messages app. 

If you haven’t used it before, you’ll need to enable the iMessage extension from app drawer by taping on the App Store icon (you can choose your favorite app shortcuts in the “more” menu.) Once enabled, all you have to do is tap on the Google icon to get a handy search box, along with shortcuts for checking out weather, nearby restaurants, as well as trending YouTube videos and news.

There’s even a GIF search feature because iMessage can never have enough GIFs. 

If you search for restaurant recommendations, the app makes it easy to share results back to the conversation you’re having, though not all of Google’s shortcuts are easily shared via the extension. Even so, it’s a useful feature to have available (and a good way to kill time while you’re waiting for everyone in a group message to chime in).

This isn’t the first time Google has taken advantage of the extra space where your keyboard normall is.

The company’s keyboard app Gboard, also has search built right in. Now though, you don’t even need to have the Gboard app at all — so long as the Google app is installed on your phone, the search extension will show up in the app drawer in iMessage. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/03/05/google-search-imessage/

Google testing new Material design for search results, says report

Image: torsten silz/af/getty images

Google search results — one of the most often used tools on the internet — may soon get a new look. 

Spotted by Reddit user DiscombobulatedLead, Google is apparently testing new kind of search-results page that’s based on the company’s Material design approach that’s been spreading through Google services the past few years.

While the old layout displays all search results on one white background, the new layout reportedly displays each result in a “card box” with defined borders. 

Google has been updated more and more of its desktop services around Material; Google Calendar was one of the most recent to get a makeover. Material roughly began with the launch Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it generally emphasizes cards, layers, “flat” textures, and specific coloring schemes. 

For search, Google tends to favor redirecting users’ attention away from “extra stuff” (like sidebars) and more towards content. In 2012 it moved the search category toolbar from the side to the top of the page, then did a similar move with YouTube a couple years later. YouTube’s recent redesign also de-emphasized menus and made each page simpler and more visual. 

In this case, Google hasn’t moved any menus around, but individual boxes may help each search result catch your eye. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/03/05/google-testing-material-search-results/