At an event in France overnight, Google have announced a range of exciting new updates to Search, Maps and Translate, offering new ways for people to interact and explore in a more natural and intuitive way.
The updates cover Search, Maps and Translate, incorporating both new features and expanding availability of previously announced features including Indoor Live View for Maps which will be expanding to Australia later this year, starting with Melbourne and Sydney. There’s also Map updates coming for EVs that have ‘Google Built-In’ platform, to help find chargers at destinations.
Search and Google Lens
As their core business, Google is announcing some innovative new ways to search from today, with a lot centred around Google Lens – their visual search option. Lens is currently being used to search by users more than 10 billion times a month!
To start with, Google is expanding Multisearch to more users, with the option to add queries to visual searches expanding globally in all languages and countries where Lens is available.
What is Multisearch? It was launched in the US last year, and allows you to add questions to a visual search. I.e you can take a picture or screenshot of an item of clothing or plant and add a query by hitting the ‘+ Add to your search’ button and adding ‘green’ to find an item of clothing in another colour, or ‘care instructions’ to find out how to care for a plant.
Google says they’re also going to be adding the option to find local search results in the coming months, so you can find search results related to your city or even more locally.
Search your Screen for Android
Android users will also be getting an exciting new feature called ‘Search your Screen’. This new feature will let you search using Lens for what you see on your screen in photos and videos on the web, or in apps.
Announced at Google IO last year, Immersive View creates a new digital view of the world in maps letting you immerse yourself in a neighbourhood, landmark, restaurant, or popular venue, without ever visiting there.
The feature will initially be available for London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo, with Florence, Venice, Amsterdam, and Dublin coming soon – however no word on when Australian cities will arrive.
Indoor Live View
While Immersive View isn’t arriving in Australia just yet, a feature that IS coming to Australia, starting with Melbourne and Sydney is Indoor Live View. Indoor Live View will help you navigate inside places including shopping centres, airports and train stations simply by holding up your phone.
As well as Sydney and Melbourne, you’ll also be able to access this new feature in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, Frankfurt, Tokyo, São Paulo, Singapore, and Taipei in the coming months.
For those who want to see more easy to read directions, Google is announcing Glanceable directions, a new way to track your trip right from your route overview or your lockscreen on your Android or iOS device. The new simplified directions will show you your ETA and even when to make your next turn.
.Electric Vehicles with Google Built-in
Google Maps has been adding more features for EVs of late, and a new feature arriving for EVs using ‘Google Built-in’ will include easy ways to find very fast charging stations, as well as find charging stations in search results – such as when places like supermarkets have a charging station on-site. You’ll also be able to add charging stops to your route on any trip that will require a charge for your EV.
One of the best tools for travellers, Google Translate is getting new features including a new design for iOS and Android. The new features include Contextual Search and also incorporate Google Lens for translating visually.
The Google Translate app for Android is getting an update, with iOS to follow soon. The new update includes a more glanceable screen with ‘more accessible features’ as well as new gestures which will help navigating through frequent or recent translations.
Google will soon be providing a more contextual translation service, offering up context for single words and phrases. The new results will include multiple meanings to help you better understand translation results and find the best results based on context.
The contextual translation results will arrive first in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish in the coming weeks, with more languages becoming available in the next few months.
Lens and Translate
With Lens becoming more core to search, Google will also be leveraging Lens with an AR translate feature, blending translated text into complex images.
This feature will start rolling out from today