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Google just launched a slew of helpful search features
- Google has announced a bevy of new search features to make searching easier and more helpful.
- The new features center around Google Maps, Search, Lens, and Shopping.
- Most of the features are launching today, except one for Google Lens and another for Google Maps.
If you’ve been wanting more ways to help you find things, Google has answered your wish. Today the company announced a variety of new features coming to Google Maps, Search, Lens, and Shopping.
On the company’s official blog, Google published a slew of search-related announcements. While most of the features were initially revealed during its Search On 2022 event back in September, today’s details are announcing the launch of these new features. Here is a round-up of what was announced.
Have you ever seen a new dish and wished you could find out what it is and where you can get it? Google has added a new function to Google Lens called “multisearch near me” to help you do exactly that. As Product Manager, Cindy Huynh, states in the announcement, this feature will allow you to either take a picture or a screenshot of food and add the words “near me” to find a place that sells that food item.
Whenever I come across a delicious looking dish, I simply must find out what it is — and where to get it. To help with this, we created ‘multisearch near me,’ which is launching today in English in the U.S. Now, I can easily use Lens in the Google app to snap a picture or take a screenshot of a dish or an item, add the words ‘near me’ to quickly find a place that sells it nearby. This new way of searching will help me find local businesses in my community, so I can more easily support neighborhood shops during the holidays.
In addition to this feature, the company is also introducing another feature that will allow users to type in the name of a dish followed by “near me” to find places that serve it, the price, and the ingredients.
3D and AR shopping
Something else Google is rolling out today is improvements to its AR shopping. Today Google released a feature that will allow users to shop for shoes using 3D renders and augmented reality (AR). This new feature is said to work similarly to how the technology works with showing users how furniture looks in a space. At the moment, the feature appears to work for only a handful of brands including Saucony, Vans, and Merrell.
The company also revealed that it is working on creating 3D spins of shoes. However, the 3D shoe renders won’t be available until the coming months.
Another change the Mountain View-based organization announced is that it’s implementing a change that should make finding your exact foundation match easier. The company states that its “new photo library features 148 models representing a diverse spectrum of skin tones, ages, genders, face shapes, ethnicities, and skin types.”
With this library, Google claims it should help people “better visualize what different products look like on you.”
“Here’s how it works: Search for a foundation shade on Google across a range of prices and brands, like ‘Clinique Even Better Foundation,'” Google explained. “You’ll see what that foundation looks like on models with a similar skin tone, including before and after shots, to help you decide which one works best for you. Once you’ve found one you like, just select a retailer to buy.”
Live View and EV charging
Moving on to the Google Maps announcement, it was revealed that Google is introducing a new visual search experience called Live View. Unlike most of the other features announced today, this feature is scheduled to roll out on Google Maps for Android and iOS at the beginning of next week for select cities. These cities include London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
To explain how it works, Google provided this example:
Say you’re visiting New York with plans to knock out your holiday shopping and catch up with friends. Lift your phone and tap on the camera icon in the search bar to see nearby stores and other places like coffee shops, banks and ATMs. Google explained With AR-powered directions and arrows, you can see what direction they’re in and how far away they are — and even spot places that aren’t in your immediate view (like a clothing store around the block) to get a true sense of the neighborhood at a glance.
The other feature coming to Google Maps is one that should be a lot of help to EV owners. According to Google, finding the best charging stations will be even easier than before. Now you can search for “EV charging stations” and select the “fast charge” filter to be shown charging stations with 50kW or higher. In addition, the company says that users will be able to find their EV’s plug type in more countries.
The last update to Google Maps will make its “accessible places” feature available globally on Android and iOS. The feature was initially launched in 2020, but only for Australia, Japan, the UK, and US.
Google Lens Translate
Finally, Google plans on rolling out a new update to Google Lens that will go live sometime later this year. The update will improve its AR Translate capabilities so users can translate text on more complex backgrounds. Additionally, instead of covering up the original text, the feature will now erase the original text and recreate the pixels underneath with an AI-generated background, similar to the way Magic Eraser works in Google Photos.
These announcements come on the heels of two other features that were added to Google Search only a couple weeks ago.