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Google adds shortcuts to its main search app for quicker answers

Google is updating its main search app for Android and iOS to include shortcuts so users can get quicker results for more general inquires.

Published onMarch 21, 2017

Even in this world where digital assistants can help out, sometimes you just want to search the internet yourself for general information like news, weather, the latest sports scores and more. Today, Google is rolling out an update to its main search app for iOS and Android in the US that will add shortcuts below the search bar. They will include a number of general topics that can be tapped to bring up internet search results, instead of typing in a search string.

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Google says that typing in the normal search bar is terrific if you have a specific thing you want to look up, such as “10 best dating apps for Android“. However, the new shortcuts feature is designed to offer one-tap results for more common questions like what’s currently playing at your local movie theater, or a quick lookup of the nearest places to eat. Sports fans can tap on a shortcut to get the latest scores and news, and they can also be customized so you can quickly find out the news on your favorite teams.

It’s not just search results that are included in these shortcuts. Google also offers quick one-tap access in the search app to its translation service, along with a currency converter, a calculator, an internet speed test and much more. Shortcuts are also available for your Gmail and schedule of events. The app even includes quick access to simple games and, yes, you can even tap on an “I’m feeling curious” shortcut to bring up a random search result.

The shortcuts are being rolled out to the Google search apps in the US at the moment; there’s no word on when they will be added in other markets. This is certainly a feature that should have been added to the app for a while, and we are curious to see if it become popular. Even though, as we mentioned, digital assistants can handle much of these kinds of answers with voice commands, sometime there are situations where you just don’t want to speak to get info on whether or not the Cubs won their game last night.

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